Scooter Libby Convicted -- Jurors Felt Sympathy For Him

Former Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was found guilty today on four out of five counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice. Sentencing is scheduled for June, though Libby has indicated he will pursue a new trial or an appeal.

U.S. News media correspondent Liz Halloran was at the federal courthouse in Washington for the verdict and has this to report: "They tell me it's nothing compared with the Clinton days, but the courtroom was full, and the full Washington media horde was out in force. Libby doesn't have a celebrity profile -- chief of staff to the vice president is not that sexy -- so there wasn't the usual gathering of curious onlookers looking to glimpse someone famous."

Halloran was also present for the statement of juror Denis Collins, who spoke to reporters after the verdict was announced. Collins said jurors had sympathy for Libby but that in the end they just didn't buy his faulty-memory defense. From the testimony, the jurors documented nine separate times that witnesses said Libby had learned of Valerie Plame Wilson and her job at the CIA.

"There was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby," he said. Some jurors asked, "Where's [Bush aide Karl] Rove? Where are these other guys?' He was the fall guy."

But the for matter-of fact jurors, who spent a week mapping out testimony on each of the five charges before starting to make their decisions, that was not a defense.

By Liz Halloran


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