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Libby’s ‘scapegoat’ defense

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Washington, D.C.

Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, was made a scapegoat to protect presidential advisor Karl Rove, Libby’s lawyer said as Libby’s perjury trial began this week. Libby is accused of lying to obstruct an investigation into the White House’s role in disclosing the identity of then–CIA operative Valerie Wilson, whose husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, was a prominent critic of the Iraq war. Libby revealed Valerie Wilson’s identity to reporters, but later denied doing so before a grand jury, prosecutors charge. Libby’s lawyer, Theodore Wells Jr., told jurors that Libby never intended to punish Wilson by revealing his wife Valerie Wilson’s identity to reporters. Rather, Wells said, Libby was trying to disprove Wilson’s charge that he had found no evidence that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear material in Africa. The defense claims that Rove orchestrated the anti-Wilson campaign and then deflected blame onto Libby. The White House declined comment.

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