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Prosecution rests in Libby trial

[JURIST] US Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] rested the prosecution's case Thursday in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive]. As the prosecution's final witness, Tim Russert [official profile], Washington bureau chief for NBC News, testified Wednesday that he was unaware of former undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity until reading Robert D. Novak's July 14, 2003 column. Libby had told investigators that he first learned about Plame's identity from a telephone conversation on July 10 or 11 with Russert and not administration officials. Russert has said that Plame was never discussed in the conversation. The defense is expected to begin presenting their case Monday by calling journalists to testify, although the defense team has not indicated whether and when they still plan to call [JURIST report] Libby's former boss, Vice President Dick Cheney [official website] to take the stand.

Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] in connection with the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity [JURIST news archive]. Last Tuesday, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller testified [JURIST report; JURIST news archive] concerning conversations Libby had with Miller, during which he allegedly told her about his frustration with the CIA and revealed to her the identity of Valerie Wilson. On Monday, a federal district judge authorized public release of audio recordings [JURIST report] of the secret grand jury testimony after they were played at the trial. The New York Times has more.

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