Ex-White House adviser guilty of 4 of 5 counts, will appeal
Former White House adviser I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been found guilty of four of five charges, including perjury and obstruction of justice, in the federal court proceedings that resulting from the investigation of the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. If he had been found guilty of all 5 charges, he could have been sentenced to up to 30 years in jail.
Libby will appeal the guilty verdicts, his attorney said.
The verdicts for the individual charges against Libby are as follows, according to the Associated Press:
* - Obstruction of Justice: GUILTY
* False statements to FBI investigators (about Russert conversation): GUILTY
* False statement to FBI investigators (about Cooper conversation): NOT GUILTY
* Perjury to the Grand Jury (about Tim Russert conversation): GUILTY
* Perjury to the Grand Jury (about the Matt Cooper conversation): GUILTY
According to blogger Marcy Wheeler at DailyKos, a May 15 deadline has been set for the government's sentencing report.
MSNBC commentator Tim Russert has suggested that the verdict bodes poorly for Vice President Dick Cheney, whom Libby served most directly.
"This isn't like a hunting accident where he can walk away for two days and let someone else make the statement," he said.
"The results are actually sad," Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald told reporters, according to AP. "It's sad that we had a situation where a high-level official person who worked in the office of the vice president obstructed justice and lied under oath. We wish that it had not happened, but it did."
White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino told AP that Bush had watched the verdict on television in the Oval Office. "Perino said the president respected the jury's verdict but 'was saddened for Scooter Libby and his family,'" according to AP.
Ted Wells, Libby's lead defense attorney, made the following statement.
"We are very disappointed in the verdict of the jurors. This jury deliberated for approximately 10 days. Despite our disappointment in the jury's verdict, believe in the American justice system, we believe in the jury system. We intend to file a motion for a new trial and if that is denied, we will appeal the conviction and we have every confidence that ultimately Mr. Libby will be vindicated. We believe as we said at the time of his indictment that he is totally innocent, totally innocent, he did not do anything wrong, and we intend to keep fighting to establish his innocence."
Libby and Wells did not take questions.