Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been indicted for five counts by the federal grand jury investigating the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame for perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the grand jury, RAW STORY can confirm.
Libby resigned. According to the New York Daily News, his post will be filled by Cheney's chief counsel David Addington. A detailed announcement will be made at 2:15 p.m. ET.
The only sitting Cabinet member to be indicted in recent history was President Reagan's labor secretary, Raymond J. Donovan. Accused of grand larceny in 1984, he was acquitted in 1987. H.R. Haldeman, chief of staff to President Nixon, resigned before being indicted -- and convicted -- in the Watergate coverup.
Others may yet be indicted, lawyers close to the investigation say. While the media spotlight has focused on key White House advisors, officials outside the senior staff have also been fingered in the probe.
Sources close to the investigation say the probe will continue, and could expand to include other elements, including forged documents that purported to show Iraq had sought uranium from Niger.
Previously, RAW STORY reported that Cheney's National Security Adviser John Hannah and his Middle East advisor David Wurmser, on loan from the office of now-UN ambassador John Bolton, were cooperating in Fitzgerald's probe, and are believed to have secured deals with the prosecutor. Hannah and Wurmser are said to have played a role in disseminating Plame Wilson's name to the press.
RAW STORY also reported that Fitzgerald had intended to charge Bush's deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, but last minute deals appear to have derailed the indictment for now. Rove will remain under scrutiny.
David Addington, expected to replace Libby, was a principal author of the White House memo justifying the torture of terrorism suspects. He also strongly endorsed holding suspects without access to the legal system, a measure rebuked by the Supreme Court.
The Cheney loyalist has also defended the Vice President's right to withhold information about his meetings with energy company executives, much to the chagrin of environmentalists.