Cheney, Libby won't testify at CIA leak trial
Vice President Dick Cheney will not testify as expected in the trial of his former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, according to a report on MSNBC. CNN reports that Libby himself will not be testifying, either.
A snowstorm shut down government agencies in Washington today, prompting the court to send the jury home early for the day. Before wrapping up all proceedings, Libby's lead counsel, Theodore Wells, announced that he had released the Vice President from being a witness.
Cheney’s testimony had been widely anticipated by followers of the trial.
Liveblogging the trial at Firedoglake, Marcy Wheeler (aka emptywheel), author of the recently published Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy, provides a "blogger's approximation" transcript.
"Prior to lunch I indicated to the court that I would be making recommendations to Libby with regards to the progress of his case," Wells told the courtroom, according to emptywheel. "Over the lunch hour Mr. Jeffress and I advised Cheney's lawyer."
"If we had called him he would have been available on Thursday," Wells reportedly continued. "We have released the vice president as a witness."
The two lawyers advised Libby to rest his case without testifying.
"Jeffress and I recommended to Libby that, subject to putting on the briefers and some documentary evidence, he should rest following that," Wells reportedly said. "After consulting with us and his wife, he indicated he would follow this advice."
CNN's Brian Todd reported that after "Libby stood up, the judge questioned him as to -- basically saying, 'Do you understand you're waiving your right to defend yourself?' Libby said he did understand that."
"The judge asked him again is it your wish to waive your own defense taking the stand in your own defense and Libby said, 'yes, sir,'" Todd continued. "It is set now neither Libby or Cheney will testify for Libby's defense in this case."