Defense attorneys are scheduled to begin presenting their case today in the perjury trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
They will try to counteract discrepancies the jury has heard between Libby's account of his role in the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity and the testimony of prosecution witnesses.
Libby is charged with lying to FBI agents and a federal grand jury that investigated the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's name to the news media. Plame is married to former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was sent by the CIA in 2002 to Niger to explore reports that Iraq had tried to buy yellowcake uranium, which is used to make nuclear weapons. Wilson concluded that the reports were baseless. In 2003, shortly after the Iraq war began, he accused President Bush of twisting his findings to justify the invasion.
Libby's statements below each witness's name are his answers to questions posed by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald during a grand jury appearance on March 5, 2004. An audiotape of that session was played for the jury. The witnesses' statements are trial testimony.
-- Amy Goldstein
Marc Grossman Former undersecretary of state for political affairs
Fitzgerald: Do you recall any conversation at any time when Secretary Grossman told you that the former ambassador's wife worked at the CIA?
Libby: I, I don't recall.
Fitzgerald: You have no memory of that whatsoever?
Libby: Sorry, sir, I don't.
Grossman: Mr. Libby just asked me if I knew anything about the travel of a former ambassador . . . to Africa to look into the question of yellowcake [uranium], and I said that I did not. . . . [Soon afterward] I just went up to him and I said that I wanted him to recall the question he had asked me. That we knew that Ambassador Wilson had made this trip. That he reported back to the government. And I said there was one more thing you got to know and that is that his wife worked at the agency [the CIA].
Robert Grenier Former associate deputy director and Iraq mission manager, CIA
Fitzgerald: And do you recall if you ever had a conversation with Mr. Grenier in which you discussed Wilson's wife's employment?
Libby: I don't think I discussed Wilson's wife's employment with, with Mr. Grenier.
Prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg: And in your conversation with Mr. Libby, did you also talk to him about the information you had learned from the individual at [the CIA's counterproliferation division] about Wilson's wife?
Grenier: I believe I said something to the effect that — in fact, Ambassador Wilson's wife works there . . . and that's where the idea came from.
Cathie Martin Former assistant to the vice president for public affairs
Fitzgerald: And do you recall an occasion on or about July 8th where Cathie Martin came into the vice president's office with you present, and the vice president, and indicated that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, that she had learned that?
Libby: I — again, sir, I don't, I don't recall. What I recall — all my recollection on this point is hinged on my surprise when I heard it from [NBC News Washington bureau chief] Tim Russert and I'm inferring the rest from that.
Martin: "Scooter told me, talk to Bill Harlow [then the CIA's public affairs director]. . . . I remember going into the vice president's offi ce. Scooter was in his office, which was pretty normal. And I said I had spoken with Bill Harlow at the CIA, and the former ambassador's name . . . is Joe Wilson. And apparently he was a charge in Baghdad, and apparently his wife works at the CIA."
Ari Fleischer Former White House press secretary
Fitzgerald: Do you recall if you discussed Mr. Wilson's wife during the lunch with Ari Fleischer?
Libby: I don't recall discussing the wife. Because I was surprised at the discussion a few days later with, with Tim Russert, I would think that we did not discuss the wife. I just — but I don't recall.
Fleischer: What I recall Mr. Libby saying to me was that . . . the vice president did not send Ambassador Wilson to Niger, which I had heard previously from his staff. And then he continued and said that Ambassador Wilson was sent by his wife. His wife works at the CIA. He said to me, as I recall, that she works in the counterproliferation division. And then I believe, I think that he told me her name.
Judith Miller Former New York Times reporter
Fitzgerald: And do you know if you discussed Mr. Wilson's wife and her employment with Ms. Miller?
Libby: I do not believe I discussed Mrs. — Mr. Wilson — Ambassador Wilson's wife in this conversation with Ms. Miller.
Miller: "[During a June 23 interview in Libby's office], when Mr. Libby was discussing the intelligence reporting from the CIA, he said that his wife, referring to Wilson, worked in the bureau. . . . [I]n the context of our discussion . . . I quickly understood that he was referring to the CIA. . . . He referred to him fi rst as a clandestine guy. Then he began talking about Mr. Wilson by name, Joe Wilson."
Matthew Cooper Former Time magazine reporter
Fitzgerald: And it's your specific recollection that when you told Cooper about Wilson's wife working at the CIA, you attributed that fact to what reporters . . . plural, were saying. Correct?
Libby: I was very clear to say reporters are telling us that because in my mind I still didn't know it as a fact.
Cooper: [T]owards the very end of the conversation, I asked what he had heard about Wilson's wife being involved in sending him to Niger. . . . Mr. Libby said words to the effect of, 'Yes, I have heard that, too.' or 'Yes, I have heard something like that, too.' ª Fitzgerald: And did he at any time indicate that he had heard the information from reporters?
Tim Russert Washington bureau chief, NBC News
Fitzgerald: Who did you speak to on July 10th or 11th that you recalled learning again, thinking it was for the first time, that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA?
Libby: Tim Russert of NBC News, Washington bureau chief for NBC News. . . . 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.'
Russert: "That would be impossible, because I didn't know who that person was until several days later."