Scooter Libby Jury: Guilty on 4 of 5 Counts
Just as I suspected, Scooter Libby was convicted in his trial moments ago:
Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted Tuesday of obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI in an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to reporters.
He was acquitted of one count of lying to the FBI.
Libby had little reaction to the verdict. He stood expressionless as the jury left the room.
The verdict was read on the 10th day of deliberations. Libby faces up to 30 years in prison, though under federal sentencing guidelines likely will receive far less.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered a pre-sentencing report be completed by May 15. Judges use such reports to help determine sentences.
Libby faced two counts of perjury, two counts of lying to the FBI and one count of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he discussed Plame's name with reporters and, fearing prosecution, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.
For further updates see the following blogs:
Update 12:55. Juror Denis Collins says he was a reporter. For whom?
Update 13:00. Colins: Questions asked by jury: Where is Rove, where is Cheney? We believe he was tasked by the vice president to talk to reporters. (No comment on Libby motive.)
Update 13:03. Dave R asks in comments what my impressions of the trial were. I was asked that by a radio host later in the day after closing arguments.
I thought no one seemed obviously antagonistic (at least outwardly) to him. I thought that it looked like Libby had lied about the Russert counts and it was disputable whether he had lied about the Cooper counts.
I think the counts were very carefully formulated to find Libby guilty on as many counts as possible.
Update 13:06. Juror Colins: We would have liked to have seen Bush here.
Update 13:11. Jury did not negotiate with each other. Two jurors voted not guilty on count 3.
Update 13:16. FNC's Jim Angle says he believes defense will use judge's limitation of its "memory defense" on appeal. I did feel the defense was hamstrung and eventually stopped playing to the jury. On the last day of the argument, Team Libby's defense was surprisingly short.
Update 13:18. Robert Novak: I still believe Valerie Plame wasn't a covert employee as covered by federal law.
Update 13:35. In remarks after the trial, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald broke many a moonbat heart and said he does not expect to file any more charges.