Editor’s note: The 22-page indictment filed against I. Lewis Libby on Friday in the Plame Affair by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is available online. Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff until he resigned today, was charged with five counts in connection with the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name after her husband, Joe Wilson, criticized the Bush administration’s rationale for the war in Iraq. Among the counts against Libby are obstruction of justice, making a false statement, and perjury, for lying to the grand jury convened to investigate the matter.
Below, we’ve excerpted key sections from the indictment papers.
Events Leading up to July 2003
4. On or about May 29, 2003, in the White House, LIBBY asked an Under Secretary of State (“Under Secretary”) for information concerning the unnamed ambassador’s travel to Niger to investigate claims about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake. The Under Secretary thereafter directed the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research to prepare a report concerning the ambassador and his trip. The Under Secretary provided LIBBY with interim oral reports in late May and early June 2003, and advised LIBBY that Wilson was the former ambassador who took the trip.
5. On or about June 9, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed to the Office of the Vice President to the personal attention of LIBBY and another person in the Office of the Vice President. The faxed documents, which were marked as classified, discussed, among other things, Wilson and his trip to Niger, but did not mention Wilson by name. After receiving these documents, LIBBY and one or more other persons in the Office of the Vice President handwrote the names “Wilson” and “Joe Wilson” on the documents.
6. On or about June 11 or 12, 2003, the Under Secretary of State orally advised LIBBY in the White House that, in sum and substance, Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and that State Department personnel were saying that Wilson’s wife was involved in the planning of his trip.
7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson’s trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.
. . .
9. On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson’s wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Division. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.
. . .
11. On or about June 14, 2003, LIBBY met with a CIA briefer. During their conversation he expressed displeasure that CIA officials were making comments to reporters critical of the Vice President’s office, and discussed with the briefer, among other things, “Joe Wilson” and his wife “Valerie Wilson,” in the context of Wilson’s trip to Niger.
LIBBY’s Actions Following Wilson’s July 6 “Op Ed” Column
16. On or about July 7, 2003, LIBBY had lunch with the then White House Press Secretary and advised the Press Secretary that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and noted that such information was not widely known.
. . .
18. Also on or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with the Counsel to the Vice President in an anteroom outside the Vice President’s Office. During their brief conversation, LIBBY asked the Counsel to the Vice President, in sum and substance, what paperwork there would be at the CIA if an employee’s spouse undertook an overseas trip.
. . .
21. On or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White House (“Official A”) who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson’s wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson’s trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson’s wife.
22. On or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discussed with other officials aboard the plane what LIBBY should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matthew Cooper.
23. On or about July 12, 2003, in the afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone to Cooper, who asked whether LIBBY had heard that Wilson’s wife was involved in sending Wilson on the trip to Niger. LIBBY confirmed to Cooper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this information too.
24. On or about July 12, 2003, in the late afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone with Judith Miller of the New York Times and discussed Wilson’s wife, and that she worked at the CIA.
. . .
2. On or about March 5, 2004, in the District of Columbia, I. LEWIS LIBBY, also known as “SCOOTER LIBBY,” defendant herein, having taken an oath to testify truthfully in a proceeding before a grand jury of the United States, knowingly made a false material declaration, in that he gave the following testimony regarding a conversation that he represented he had with Tim Russert of NBC News, on or about July 10, 2003 (underlined portions alleged as false):
. . . . And then he said, you know, did you know that this – excuse me, did you know that Ambassador Wilson’s wife works at the CIA? And I was a little taken aback by that. I remember being taken aback by it. And I said – he may have said a little more but that was – he said that. And I said, no, I don’t know that. And I said, no, I don’t know that intentionally because I didn’t want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said, because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning. And so I said, no, I don’t know that because I want to be very careful not to confirm it for him, so that he didn’t take my statement as confirmation for him.
Now, I had said earlier in the conversation, which I omitted to tell you, that this – you know, as always, Tim, our discussion is off-the-record if that’s okay with you, and he said, that’s fine.
So then he said – I said – he said, sorry – he, Mr. Russert said to me, did you know that Ambassador Wilson’s wife, or his wife, works at the CIA? And I said, no, I don’t know that. And then he said, yeah – yes, all the reporters know it. And I said, again, I don’t know that. I just wanted to be clear that I wasn’t confirming anything for him on this. And you know, I was struck by what he was saying in that he thought it was an important fact, but I didn’t ask him anymore about it because I didn’t want to be digging in on him, and he then moved on and finished the conversation, something like that.
3. In truth and fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave this testimony, it was false in that:
a. Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and
b. At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA;
In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 25, 2005