Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Breaking News! Domestic Spying Injected Into Libby Trial

Trial In Chaos; Justice Dept. Gave Libby Lawyers Prospective Jurors Personal Info

Fitzgerald Livid As Emails, NSA Wiretaps, Financial Records Found In Defense Lawyers' Briefcase

No sooner than it started, the trial of former Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, erupted in chaos, after the discovery of NSA wiretaps, emails and financial records in the possession of defense attorneys, apparently provided to them by the Justice Department.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was livid, charging the Libby team of lawyers, and the Vice President's office, with attempting to "intimidate the jury".

Fitzgerald said that as voir dire began, the process of questioning prospective jurors, he passed by the defense table, he noticed a memo, on the stationary of David Addington, Vice President Cheney's new Chief of Staff, addressed to Ted Wilson, Libby's lead attorney, stating;

"Teddy; I had the NSA put this package together for you ... Hope it helps ... David A"

There was also a "PS" on it, offering "Still working on the Chief to issue a Signing Statement for Scooter ... Don't give up hope for Pardon either".

'There were file folders with jurors names on them, transcripts, tapes ..." a still shaken Fitzgerald recounted to reporters.

Flabbergasted, Fitzgerald turned to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, asking for a sidebar. After a heated discussion between the attorneys and Judge, Walton called a recess in proceedings, and ordering the attorneys into his chambers for further discussion.

The Justice Department, as well as the office of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, refused comment, citing the policy of not making statements on on-going legal matters.

The National Security Agency also refused comment, on the basis of national security.

The Justice Department, and the Bush Administration have been under fire, and still face legal challenges, to their domestic spying, or, as referred to by the White House, the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

Libby is on trial, charged with multiple counts of perjury, for allegedly lying to Federal Agents, and the Grand Jury, investigating the leak in the Valerie Plame Case. Libby faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

Ironically,. Addington may be called to testify in the case, as the potential witness list also includes Vice President Cheney and a Who's-Who of Washington polticos and media.

Plame, a former CIA undercover agent, had her identity exposed by the Bush Administration, allegedly in retribution for action by her husband, the former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Wilson wrote an Op-Ed article in the New York Times, criticizing President Bush, and the administration, for placing debunked intelligence in the President's 2003 State of the Union Address, charging Iraq's Saddam Hussein with seeking Yellow Cake uranium in Africa for the purpose of nuclear weapons.

This piece of fabricated intelligence, as well as others, were used by the Bush Administration to build up the case for war and justify the invasion of Iraq.

According to reports, Vice President Cheney wrote notes in the margins of the Wilson Op-Ed, giving them to Libby, which launched what ultimately ended with the outing of CIA Agent Plame and the subsequent investigation leading to Libby's criminal charges.

White House Spokesperson Tony Snow told reporters this morning that "This isn't a head-banger... The President won't comment on on-going legal proceedings. As to dealing with anyone on his staff that leaks information, he's still thinking about that and he doesn't rule forming a new study group to look into it."

Snow would not comment on the rumors that, in an effort to keep Libby, and others, from testifying under oath about the inner workings of the Bush Administration, President Bush will declare the former staffer an "enemy combatant" and charge him with treason, under the cover of a closed military tribunal.

In a related matter, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson has been hired the Libby lawyers, to badger and threaten any bloggers covering the trial. Carlson said he was happy to be tapped and is up to the challenge, promising to "[expletive] destroy them."

The trial of Scooter Libby, and the potential witnesses called, may have the Capital squirming, as secrets of the Bush Adminstration could come tumbling out

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