Libby Legal Defense Trust



President Bush: “Scooter has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and sacrificed much in the service to this country. He served the Vice President and me through extraordinary times in our nation’s history.” (President Bush, “President’s Remarks on the Resignation of Scooter Libby, Washington, D.C., 10/28/05)

Vice President Cheney: "Scooter is entitled to the presumption of innocence. He's a great guy. I have worked with him for a long time, have enormous regard for him." (Fox News, 2/15/06)
"Scooter Libby is one of the most capable and talented individuals I have ever known. He has given many years of his life to public service and has served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction." (“Statement By The Vice President,” Press Release, 10/28/05)

Former Deputy Attorney General George Terwilliger:  “One really has to question … the nature and extent of an investigation such as this if the sources were known and it was clear that these were basically the product of offhand remarks, not some studied effort to discredit somebody," said George Terwilliger, a former Justice Department official under President George H.W. Bush. "If, in fact, Armitage was the other source, it seems to me that it does completely debunk the idea that there was some White House cabal that was seeking to discredit Wilson.”  (Richard B. Schmitt and Tom Hamburger, “Former State Department Official Is Blamed in Plame Leak,” Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2006)

Washington Post Editorial:  “Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.”  (Editorial, “End of an Affair,” The Washington Post, September 1, 2006)

Wall Street Journal Editorial:  “In other words, the leaker wasn't Karl Rove or Scooter Libby or anyone else in the White House who has been accused of running a conspiracy against Ms. Plame as revenge for her husband Joe Wilson's false accusations against the White House's case for war with Iraq.” (Editorial, "Fess Up, Mr. Armitage," Wall Street Journal, 8/30/06)

National Review Online Editorial:  "A new book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris: the Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, reports that it was Armitage, the former number-two at the State Department and a confidant of former secretary of state Colin Powell, who told columnist Robert Novak about Valerie Plame — thus setting off the CIA leak ‘scandal’ and a years-long investigation. This revelation lays waste to the notion that Vice President Dick Cheney, former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby, and top White House aide Karl Rove conspired to ‘out’ Plame as a way of smearing her husband, the anti-Bush gadfly Joseph Wilson. But it does more than just debunk left-wing conspiracy theories. It also raises a vitally serious question about the CIA leak investigation itself: Why did it happen?" (Editorial, "The Real Scandal," National Review Online, August 30, 3006)

FOX's Bill O'Reilly:  "Former State Department official Richard Armitage has been 'outed' as the leaker after three years of misreporting by the far left. Enterprises like MSNBC and Air America flat-out accused the Bush administration, especially Karl Rove and 'Scooter' Libby, of breaking the law by leaking Plame's name. So did Robert Siegel of NPR and the usual irresponsible suspects in the print press. Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorialized that statements from the White House and Rove 'look like lies.' New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Rove 'damaged national security for partisan advantage.' Shouldn't they be forced to apologize? All over the world millions of people believe America is evil and worse than the terrorists, and the unrelenting hate-Bush media in this country fuels that ridiculous concept. The Bush-haters are out of control and are hurting the country. It is patriotic to responsibly disagree with any administration, but it is wrong to smear public servants in any party. So Talking Points is respectfully asking those who erroneously analyzed the Plame affair to admit their mistakes and be more responsible in the future."  (Bill O'Reilly, September 5, 2006) 

National Review's Jonah Goldberg:  “[T]he Bush-bashers have lost credibility. The most delicious example came this week when it was finally revealed that Colin Powell's oak-necked major-domo Richard Armitage — and not some star chamber neocon — ‘outed’ Valerie Plame, the spousal prop of Washington's biggest ham, Joe Wilson. Now it turns out that instead of ‘Bush blows CIA agent's cover to silence a brave dissenter’ — as Wilson practices saying into the mirror every morning — the story is, ‘One Bush enemy inadvertently taken out by another's friendly fire.’”  (Jonah Goldberg, "Give Bush a Break," Los Angeles Times, 8/31/06)

Roll Call's Mort Kondracke:   “I mean, if this is all right, then the whole -- this whole conspiracy theory of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney masterminding this entire plot to out Valerie Plame and reveal -- and violate the Intelligence Agents Identities Act and all this stuff, which, by the way, David Corn, who helped write this book -- David Corn of The Nation magazine is one of the co-authors of this, he's the one who started this whole thing. When that -- when this column came out, he's the one who said, ‘Ah-ha, the Bush administration is violating this law that was designed to protect agents overseas who were being outed and then killed during the 1970s and 80s.’ Anyway, so it's empty. There's a hole here, there's nothing there, but, countless people have been put through hell over this -- as a result of this. They've been -- Scooter Libby is under indictment. He lost his job, Cheney's chief of staff. I don't know, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal expenses people have had to shell out for lawyers and the government's wasted a lot of money with the special prosecutor.”  (Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, August 28, 2006)

Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes:  “[T]he Bush White House, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and others were hung out to dry and the charge grew and was widely proclaimed in the press and among Democrats and among critics of the White House, that the White House had smeared an innocent man, Joe Wilson, who merely told the truth. And it turns out that was wrong from the beginning. . .   [T]he only explanation for what Fitzgerald was doing is that somehow he bought the left-wing conspiracy theory, that there was this coordinated effort in the Bush administration to smear Joe Wilson, you know, because he`d written that Bush had said something untrue in his State of the Union Address.”  (FOX’s Special Report With Brit Hume, August 28, 2006)

Slate’s Christopher Hitchens:  “But now we have the final word on who did disclose the name and occupation of Valerie Plame, and it turns out to be someone whose opposition to the Bush policy in Iraq has -- like Robert Novak's -- long been a byword in Washington. It is particularly satisfying that this admission comes from two of the journalists -- Michael Isikoff and David Corn -- who did the most to get the story wrong in the first place and the most to keep it going long beyond the span of its natural life.”  (Christopher Hitchens, “Plame Out,” Slate, August 29, 2006)

MSNBC’ Tucker Carlson:  “[W]hy have we made such a big deal out of such a minor story from day one? I`ll tell you why. Because the lunatic, paranoid, conspiracy theory-ridden left has made it into example A of the Bush administration`s evil deeds.  This story, they say, is a metaphor, this is an example of the Bush administration crushing someone. The neocons in the administration crushing someone to get their war in Iraq. Oh, wait a second though, Richard Armitage is not a neocon. He is close friends with Colin Powell, that liberal icon. He was not out there pushing the war like Richard Perle and all the evil neocons.  Wait a second, the story doesn`t make sense, does it? Will the liberals admit this? I hope they will. If you dislike the Bush administration, dislike the Bush administration for honest reasons, Iraq, immigration, Social Security, but not for some stupid made-up story about Valerie Plame.”  (MSNBC’s Tucker, August  28, 2006)

Bill Kristol:  “Bob Novak released the name of Valerie Plame. He did not learn that from Scooter Libby, it now turns out. So Scooter Libby is the one person who's been indicted, ridiculously, in this case. The civil suit is a joke. It's not going anywhere. Libby will be acquitted, I believe, early next year. I hope he rejoins the U.S. Government.”  (Fox News Sunday, July 16, 2006)

Washington Post Editorial:  "The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth."  (Editorial, “A Good Leak,” The Washington Post, April 9, 2006)

Wall Street Journal Editorial:  “There is all the difference in the world between seeking to respond to the substance of Mr. Wilson's charges, as Mr. Libby did, and taking revenge on him by blowing his wife's cover, which was the motive originally hypothesized by Bush critics for the Plame exposure. The more of Mr. Fitzgerald's case that becomes public, the more it looks like he has made the terrible mistake for a prosecutor of taking Joe Wilson's side in what was essentially a political fight.”  (Editorial, “Fitzgerald, Scooter and Us,” Wall Street Journal, 6/6/06)

The New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen:  “The Fitzgerald indictments are an embarrassing confirmation of the old Washington rule that, when special prosecutors can't prove a crime, they indict the target for obstructing the investigation. Far from being typical behavior, indicting suspects for nothing more than false statements or perjury is a vice largely restricted to special prosecutors and independent counsels. . .   He did not prosecute Bush administration officials or journalists under the rarely invoked law he was originally appointed to investigate--the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which forbids the knowing disclosure of the identity of a covert government agent. He did not invoke a broader provision that makes it a crime to disclose classified information--a statute that, if it were regularly enforced, would criminalize what most national security reporters do every day. . . . But the idea that Fitzgerald should be praised for the charges he didn't bring is absurd.” ("An Indefensible Indictment," The New Republic, 11/4/05)

Columnist Cal Thomas:  "A jury will be asked to make an interesting choice: Who has more credibility - a top government official, or members of the news media to whom Libby spoke about CIA operative Valerie Plame? Libby is not being tried for 'outing' Plame, but for his statements about her to three journalists, what he said and when he said it. They have one recollection and he has another. For that he faces up to 30 years in prison? Try remembering what you told someone last week. Should you be indicted if your recollection turns out to be different from theirs?" ("Repeal the Independent Counsel Law," by Cal Thomas, 10/31/05)

MSNBC's Tucker Carlson:  "Fitzgerald’s original job description was simple: Find out who leaked Valerie Plames’s name, and determine whether that leak was a crime. After two years, he seems to have concluded what was obvious right away: No, the leak was not a crime. Yet he has kept his investigation alive, as independent counsels always do. Meanwhile, people’s lives are being disrupted and in some cases destroyed. What is the justification for this? What else doesn't Pat Fitzgerald know? After two years of investigating the case, he had no idea Woodward was a recipient of the Plame leak...Yet Fitzgerald's ignorance didn't prevent him from accusing Libby - falsely and in public - of undermining this country's security." ("With Newest Revelations, More Questions, 11/17/05)

Former Justice Department Attorneys David Rivkin and Lee Casey:  "Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald should drop his prosecution of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff. In light of Bob Woodward's recent revelations, suggesting that he could have told Mr. Libby of Valerie Plame's CIA employment, Mr. Libby's conviction seems unlikely. Although Mr. Fitzgerald was exempted from the normal Department of Justice regulations governing the conduct of a special counsel, he should nevertheless follow the requirements of the U.S. Attorneys Manual, which provides that "both as a matter of fundamental fairness and in the interest of the efficient administration of justice, no prosecution should be initiated against any person unless the government believes that the person probably will be found guilty by an unbiased trier of fact." Mr. Fitzgerald may well have believed this standard met when he sought the indictment; he should now reconsider." ("Woodward and the Plame Affair," The Washington Times, 11/17/05)

New York Sun Editorial:  “With the end of the tax year approaching, this is the season for many of our readers to write checks to worthy causes, whether they are organizations devoted to policy, education, culture, or religion - or other good works. This year readers of these columns may wish to include the Libby Legal Defense Trust. It has been established by a distinguished, bipartisan group - including the former presidential candidate Malcolm S. "Steve" Forbes Jr.; a one-time director of central intelligence, James Woolsey; an ex-ambassador at the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and the Princeton historian of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis - to help pay for the legal expenses of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.”  (New York Sun, “A Season for Giving,” 12/8/05)

World Bank President and Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz: “He is a kind of perfectionist…I find him extremely valuable.  If everybody else is running off to a conclusion, he’ll say, ‘Wait a minute, have you thought of this?’” (Nedra Pickler, “Libby is to Cheney what Cheney is to Bush:  behind the scenes adviser and problem solver,” Associated Press, September 30, 2005)

Former Solicitor General Theodore Olson: “I know him to be an honest, conscientious man who has given a large part of his life to public service... From personal experience as a former public official who has been investigated by a Special Prosecutor, I know how easy it is not to be able to remember details of seemingly insignificant conversations.  I know, also, what a prosecutor with unlimited time and resources can come up with after endless probing.” (Theodore B. Olson, “Scandal,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/31/05)


Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova:  “”I think this is a very serious development for the prosecutor [the Bob Woodward story]….By alleging that Mr. Libby was the initial source he publicly bootstrapped his case on this fact.  That is now totally false and requires him now under Justice Department guidelines to seriously consider dismissing the case because you cannot indict when there’s a reasonable doubt and I believe now that there is a reasonable doubt about Mr. Libby’s state of mind.”  (Joseph diGenova on Fox News, 11/16/05)

Former Deputy Attorney General Criminal Division, Victoria Toensing: “He [Patrick Fitzgerald] has been investigating a very simple factual scenario and he's missed this crucial fact. It makes you cry out for asking well, what else did he not know? What else did he not do?”  (Fox Special Report With Brit Hume, Nov. 16, 2005)
"Bob Woodward remembers telling Walter Pincus about Valerie Plame. . And Walter Pincus says, he doesn't recall any such conversation.  Should Walter Pincus be indicted?  That's basically the kind of case against Scooter Libby. . [P]eople have different memories in all good faith. " (CNN's "The Situation Room," November 12, 2005)

Former Attorney To Vice President Al Gore, David Boies: “[W]e’ve gone from a presumption of innocence until proven guilty to a presumption of innocence until you’re charged.  Once you’re charged, now, by a prosecutor, you’re assumed to be guilty... Everybody talks about how the last time this happened was 130 years ago.  But what people don’t talk about is 130 years ago, the White House official that was indicted was kept in his position by the President and was acquitted.” (Fox News’ “Hannity And Colmes,” 10/31/05)

Former Counselor To The Vice President, Mary Matalin: "I defy you or anybody to find anybody in this town who would say that Scooter is anything but impeccably honest and a dedicated public servant who doesn’t need to be in government, yet he’s dedicated many years of his life, despite having a prosperous law practice, to public service, in bio-defense, Homeland Security, State Department,  Defense Department, the Vice President... [H]e's scrupulously honest and meticulous." (Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes," 10/28/05)


Former Ambassador Dennis Ross (U.S. envoy to the Middle East during the Clinton Administration): Ross praised Libby’s decency and sense of humor and added:  “He’s cared much more about trying to do a job than trying to get visibility for himself.  He’s approached his job with the sense that his role is basically to support others.”.”  (Kenneth Walsh, Bret Schulte, and Silla Brush, “A Rough Road for ‘Scooter’?” US News & World Report, October 31, 2005)


Editor Of The  Weekly Standard, William Kristol
: "The more one learns about this case, the more it is, in my view, the pure criminalization of policy and political difference....And the Libby prosecution, the more you learn about it, looks like a pure "gotcha" attempt by Fitzgerald to justify his prosecution."(Fox News Sunday, February 12, 2006)

Executive Editor Of The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes: “[L]ibby - An honorable man and a patriot, in my view …” (Fred Barnes, “Why This Man Is Smiling,” The Weekly Standard, 11/7/05)

Former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN): “Scooter is a tough, honorable, honest guy.” (Stephen J. Hedges And Mark Silva, “White House Aide’s Indictment Puts Harsh Spotlight On Cheney,” Chicago Tribune, 10/29/05)

Former Bush Legislative Affairs Director, Nick Calio: "There are a lot of things that I don’t remember.  I go through notes sometimes now and say I don’t even remember being in the meeting, let alone, you know, having said what I said." (CNN's "Saturday Morning News," 10/29/05)

National Journal Profile of I. Lewis Libby:  “In his travels since his childhood in Connecticut, Libby has amassed not only smarts but a penchant for maintaining a modest profile.  These virtues have served him and his bosses well, at the State Department during the Reagan years, where he was an Asia expert; at the Defense Department, where he was a strategist under then-Secretary Cheney and later a deputy undersecretary for policy…he advised the special House panel known as the Cox Committee, which investigated suspected Chinese espionage during the Clinton years.” (Profile of I. Lewis Libby, National Journal, June 23, 2001)

National Review’s Byron York:  “Certainly Fitzgerald's first task, upon receiving his assignment, was to assure himself that there was good reason to believe a crime had taken place.  Yet on that key issue, Fitzgerald appears to be trying to muddy the waters rather than clear things up. Which leads to a bigger question: If he was not prepared to say that there was even the possibility that an underlying crime was committed, why did Fitzgerald put the public through all this? His investigation has been long and costly, and it has set a terrible precedent for forcing reporters to testify under oath about their sources. Surely Fitzgerald should be able to say that, at the very least, he began with evidence that an underlying crime had been committed.. . .  [But] when the attorneys for the man charged in the case ask for such evidence, Fitzgerald can tell them to get lost.”  (Byron York, “The Prosecutor’s Brief – What Does Patrick Fitzgerald Know? When Did He Learn It? And Other Questions,” National Review, March 13, 2006)

The Wall Street Journal's Dan Henninger:   "CIA leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald argued . . . that as far as the perjury charges against former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby are concerned, it does not matter whether or not Valerie Wilson was a covert CIA agent . . . 'We're trying a perjury case', Fitzgerald told Judge Reggie Walton. Even if Plame had never worked for the CIA at all, Fitzgerald continued -- even if she had been simply mistaken for a CIA agent -- the charges against Libby would still stand. In addition, Fitzgerald said, he does not intend to offer 'any proof of actual damage' caused by the disclosure of Wilson's identity." No damage? So setting aside the catastrophic personal tragedy for Scooter Libby (and the possible erosion of confidentiality protections for the press), the Plame affair all those months was a forced march down a blind alley. Still, I think the Plame case has value as a window to understanding why Washington today spends more time bouncing off the walls than sticking to Jon Stewart's apparently archaic attachment to solving problems "in a rational way."  (Dan Henninger, “So One May Ask: Has Washington Gone Insane?,” Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2006)