Libby Prosecutors Hope to Show Marked News Articles

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 4, 2007

The day of his interview with the FBI, Vice President Cheney's then-top aide hand-marked copies of two Washington Post articles about the breadth of a criminal leak investigation -- and underlined were passages suggesting that any official who had told reporters about a CIA officer could be in legal jeopardy, prosecutors said in court filings yesterday.

Government prosecutors argued that the October 2003 articles -- stored in former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's personal folders, and printed from the Internet at his request -- show that Libby had a motive to lie about his secret conversations with reporters and knew that he could be in trouble.

The prosecutors are urging presiding U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to let the articles be placed into evidence so the jury can see them.

Libby told investigators in 2004 that he kept and read the articles, according to the filings, and that he may have underlined the key passages about criminal liability and investigators' interest in any officials' discussions with reporters about CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Plame's name was revealed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003 -- eight days after her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, accused the administration of twisting intelligence to justify war with Iraq.

Defense attorneys argued in competing filings yesterday that the Oct. 4 and Oct. 12 articles, written by Walter Pincus and Mike Allen, would prejudice the jury against Libby.

They say the articles are "inflammatory" because they indicate that Plame had been engaged in covert work in recent years and that revelations about her identity could harm national security interests -- both issues that, they argue, the judge has ruled are not relevant to Libby's trial.

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