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Demontestament's picture
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[QUOTE]WASHINGTON (AP) -- Neither Vice President Dick Cheney nor his former aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will testify at Libby's perjury and obstruction trial in the CIA leak case, Libby's lawyer said Tuesday.

Defense attorney Theodore Wells said he advised Cheney's lawyer over lunch that the vice president's testimony would not be needed. Wells also said he planned to rest his case this week without calling Libby.

In December, Wells had announced he would call Cheney as a defense witness. Historians said it would have been the first time a sitting vice president would have sat as a witness in a criminal case.

Libby is accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Plame is married to former ambassador and prominent war critic Joseph Wilson.

Attorneys said Cheney was willing to testify and, as recently as two weeks ago, Cheney said in an interview that he planned to be a witness. Libby, too, once seemed a likely witness. Pretrial documents said he would testify about his busy schedule and the national security issues that weighed on his mind.

But when U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton asked Libby in court Tuesday whether he was sure he did not want to testify. Libby responded: "Yes, your honor."

Defense attorneys say they plan to rest their case after they question three CIA briefers about Libby's daily intelligence briefings. Prosecutors say those briefers shouldn't be allowed to testify now that Libby isn't going to take the stand.

Libby is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding Plame. Prosecutors say Libby learned Plame's identity from Cheney and other officials, relayed that information to reporters, then concocted a story to cover it up.

Libby says he was preoccupied with national security intelligence and honestly forgot details about Plame. He says he learned her identity from Cheney, forgot it, and learned it again a month later from NBC's Tim Russert and believed it was new information.

With Cheney and Libby off the witness list, attorneys said they planned to rest Wednesday. That schedule could be derailed if snow and freezing rain continued in Washington. Court closed early Tuesday because of the weather. Closing arguments will be held next week, Walton said.

Libby's defense team had planned to call Cheney to testify about his former aide's memory and his intense workload. Putting Cheney on the stand would have opened him up to cross-examination about how closely he was monitoring Wilson's criticism of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

Wilson, who conducted a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, said he debunked prewar intelligence that Iraq sought to buy uranium from the African nation. That intelligence was still used as a basis for the invasion.

Fitzgerald argues that Libby was eager to discredit Wilson because he viewed Wilson as a threat to the credibility of Cheney and Bush.

By not taking the stand, Libby is giving up part of his defense. Walton said he would not allow defense attorneys to tell jurors that Libby considered his national security responsibilities more important than Wilson. Only Libby could tell jurors what he considered important, Walton said.

Former colleague describes faulty memory
Earlier on Tuesday, Cheney's national security adviser described Libby as someone responsible for the nation's most sensitive intelligence but whose memory was notoriously spotty.

John Hannah, who served as Libby's deputy in 2003 and 2004, described a workday that began with a highly classified CIA briefing and continued at breakneck speed from one top-level meeting to the next.(Watch as a State Department official discusses Plame with a Washington Post reporter )

"He was the key person talking about and helping advise the vice president on issues of homeland security," Hannah testified.

Hannah is a critical defense witness because he bolsters Libby's argument that he was focused on terrorist threats, foreign intelligence and war planning. And when it came to remembering things in such a fast-paced environment, Hannah said, Libby frequently faltered.

"On certain things, Scooter just had an awful memory," Hannah said.

It isn't that they are not needed it is because they have already been ****ed left and right in this trial that if they let Ol Shotgun and Scooter testify it would hammer the final nail in the coffen faster than it is already going. Though we all know if he is found guilty Bush will just pardon them.


RIP Ernest Gary Gygax July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008

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