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Washington Journalism on Trial

"In response to each question, Libby can be heard on the tapes carefully choosing words that would not implicate Cheney, and saying he could not recollect whether the vice president suggested they make Plame's CIA role public."

Seth Stevenson blogs for Slate: "Let's assume for a moment that Libby made up his story. Why on earth would he have done so? Here's the prosecution's theory: Libby really learned about Valerie Plame from Vice President Dick Cheney (and other government sources). And he then passed Cheney's information on to various reporters (including Matt Cooper of Time and Judy Miller of the New York Times). Libby worried that this leak constituted a crime (revealing the identity of a covert CIA agent), and that both he and Cheney might face criminal charges for it. So, when the FBI questioned him about it, he said he was simply passing on a tidbit that he'd learned from Tim Russert. If it came from Russert, and not Cheney, there would be no problem. (Fitzgerald describes this as Libby switching the story from 'an official to a non-official source.')

"Why did Libby think he could concoct a fake conversation with Russert, yet never have Russert contradict him? Because Libby assumed that Russert, as a member of the press, would protect Libby as a source. And in fact Russert did try to get out of testifying -- fighting his subpoena on the grounds that testifying would have a 'chilling effect' on his ability to get sources to talk to him. Unfortunately for Scooter, Russert lost this battle. And now he's here in court, calling Libby a liar."

Libby's Grand Jury Testimony

As promised, the prosecution released the transcripts and tapes of Libby's grand jury testimony as presented to the jury.

Here is the text of Libby's March 5, 2004, grand jury testimony. Here is the text of his March 24, 2004, grand jury testimony.

And here, exclusively as far as I can tell, is the full audio from March 5 and the full audio from March 24.

The New York Times Web site has audio excerpts, including passages during which Libby describes why he went to Judith Miller, describing his disputed conversation with Tim Russert, and describing his conversation with Karl Rove

The Associated Press has excerpts depicting tension at the White House and Libby on Russert.

Cheney's Reaction

Pete Yost writes for the Associated Press: "Vice President Dick Cheney seemed surprised in 2003 when told where his chief of staff had learned the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

" 'From me?' Cheney asked, tilting his head, according to the grand jury testimony of the aide, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, who is on trial on charges of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI. . . .

"Libby describes finding in his own handwritten notes a reference to Cheney saying in mid-June 2003 that the wife of war critic Joseph Wilson worked at the CIA. The reference by Cheney was more than a month before Plame was outed in a newspaper column.

"Libby told the grand jury that before finding the note, at the start of the criminal investigation into the leak of Plame's name, he had thought it was NBC newsman Tim Russert who first told him about Wilson's wife.


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