Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Libby indictment and resignation

This is the site for the U.S. District Court, and this is the five count Indictment (PDF file, 22 pages). ABC News is reporting that Libby has resigned.

Discussions - 17 Comments

In the ABC story, Karl Rove is said to "evade" or "escape" indictment, at least for now. Good neutral language, no editorializing there, eh?

These 5 counts are all related to the investigation and not the outing... Wasn’t the grand jury assembled to look into the outing of the CIA Agent? This seems crazy.


Prosecutors will sometimes go for 2nd-order indictments like these when they can’t come up with the goods on the underlying matter, John. It comes under prosecutorial discretion. There are laws governing what you have to tell grand juries, and they apply even if a grand jury doesn’t indict you in the primary matter that called it into being in the first place, or even if you’re not a suspect (a witness who lies to a grand jury can be indicted for perjury, for instance). In effect, Libby is being accused of staging a cover up. My guess, FWIW, is he’ll beat the rap, after spending hundreds of thousands in legal fees, of course.

what Libby was trying to "cover up," if not about the original "underlying matter"?

Was Libby asked whether he preferred boxers or briefs, for instance?

judging from Fitz’s comments, that Libby lied to the FBI and grand jury about where and when he learned of Plame’s job at the CIA, then how he made that knowledge public. So be it. But what if Libby had made my anonymous id public (then lied about it later? So what, who the hell am I?

Who the hell was Wilson’s wife, and why was she protected from the government making her identity public?

Let me guess, it’s all the "criminalization of politics," right? Well, at least that’s funnier than the Ramirez cartoons that show up here from time to time!

It’s all just so trivial when there’s no stained dress, eh?

there’s a law that protects all CIA employees identies from being made public, eh?

Are liberals actually going to cheer this legal news?

Fitzgerald and the indictment are careful not to say that Plame was a covert agent under the IIPA. The "underlying crime" is apparently release of classified information. Sandy Berger will be called to testify to the seriousness of that offense. See Fact Finding

I guess this is the first time in 130 years that a White House official has been indicted.

There is no underlying crime. Libby is being indicted for covering up something that was not illegal. That does not justify is behavior, and if he lied he should be charged, but all of the "outing a covert agent" stuff is nonsense.

pbs watcher, none of the info that was released was classified. That is why P.F. only brought the obstruction/perjury charges.

In case comment #5 was aimed at me, let me be clear: I think Bill Clinton was guilty of obstructing justice and perjuring himself, and this was so whether or not Paula Jones’s underlying lawsuit had merit or not.

Likewise, if Libby tried to mislead a grand jury I believe he should answer for it, even if there’s no indictment regarding the underlying matter.

Ashland Man said:

...if he lied he should be charged...

That’s big of you to concede, but the indictment claims that he did lie (although this can only be confirmed or rejected by a jury, of course), and seeing that he’s being indicted, he HAS been charged. That what an indictment is.

It took me a bit to figure out why Fitzgerald doesn’t want to admit that Plame was not a covert agent. See I’m A Little Slow

TK, you are correct, if Ashland Man meant "should be charged" in the future tense. If, however, he meant it in the normative sense (i.e., "I agree that it is proper to charge him") as it appears he did, you come off as a petty, nitpicking, and foolish. Perhaps one who is so dull of understanding should not have so sharp a toung.

Well Anna, have you become a defender of the Bushies now? Interesting. Anyway, since I don’t have a "toung" I presume you were trying to slap down someone else.

That’s pretty funny. York proved that she cannot spell, and Tim responded by proving her point about him being petty and nitpicking.

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