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Libby's Fate Now With Jury in CIA Leak Case


The fate of former White House aide Lewis Libby now rests with a jury in Washington, D.C. Libby is accused of lying and obstructing justice in the investigation into who leaked the identity of former CIA covert officer Valerie Plame in 2003. National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

The jury of eight women and four men began deliberations one day after closing arguments by both sides in the case.

Prosecutors contend Libby lied about his conversations with journalists concerning Valerie Plame. Plame is married to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the Bush administration's justification for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Defense attorneys argued that Libby is the victim of a bad memory and that there is no proof he deliberately lied to FBI agents and a grand jury investigating the Plame case.

James Gordon Meek has been covering the Libby trial for the New York Daily News. He spoke on the C-SPAN public affairs TV network.

"It seems like a simple case," he said. "Did the guy lie or not? But the way it has been presented in court every day is very confusing, even for those of us who have been covering the leak probe all along. The government has made an incredibly, I think, very solid case. And Libby's lawyers, who are very expensive and very talented, have done a hell of a job to defend their client."

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Libby leaked Plame's CIA identity as part of a White House effort to discredit her husband.

Libby's defense attorney said Libby was preoccupied with national security matters in his role as Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and was too busy to recall what he told journalists about the Plame matter.

Plame's name first surfaced in an article by syndicated columnist Robert Novak in July of 2003.

If convicted, Libby could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.

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