This is day #3 in jury selection for the Scooter Libby trial. And today’s session began with Scooter Libby’s top lawyer SUGGESTING that Vice President Cheney’s expected testimony in this case MAY be contradicted by another witness. Despite all of the pre-trial filings, documents, and evidence released…this is the first time such a suggestion has been made in the CIA leak case.
During the questioning of a potential juror who called the Iraq war “a tremendous mistake” and said she felt “betrayed by the war,” Libby’s attorney questioned the woman about her views of Vice President Cheney. A juror can not serve on the panel if his/her views on the war or views of any administration official would inhibit the juror’s ability to examined evidence, testimony, and a verdict “fairly.” Regarding the vice president, the woman said, “I think he’s been instrumental in enacting some policies that have damaged our country.” She then said she could still be “fair” in this case and listen only to the evidence presented in court. Libby lawyer Ted Wells then said, “Vice President Cheney will be a witness in this case. If his testimony is contradicted by another witness, who you don’t know or have no feelings about, would your feelings about the vice president make it difficult for you to fairly evaluate the credibility of the vice president?”
What was Libby’s lawyer referring to? Is there a witness who will undermine the Vice President? Is Wells expecting a battle royal between prosecutor Fitzgerald and Vice President Cheney when Cheney is cross examined and suggests he may not “remember” issues related to the Wilsons and the leak of Valerie Wilson’s identity?
Lawyers in this case are under a court order from the judge not to talk with reporters or answer reporter questions. So, we may not know, until Cheney testifies, whether Libby’s lawyer was raising a HYPOTHETICAL with a possible juror to evaluate whether that juror can be fair… or whether there will be a witness in this case who will contradict the vice president’s expected testimony.