The jury presiding over the perjury trial of former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby returned a guilty verdict Tuesday after 10 days of deliberation in the case that began January 23. Libby faced perjury and obstruction of justice charges in connection with the investigation into the leak of the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame. He was found guilty on four of five counts.
US District Judge Reggie B. Walton dismissed a juror last week after finding she had been exposed to information about the CIA leak case over the previous weekend. Deliberations continued with just 11 jurors, despite the availability of two alternate jurors. Earlier this week, Walton refused to answer a jury question on the level of proof that would have to be met to find Libby guilty. The jury wanted to know whether in order to satisfy the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt they had to find it would not be "humanly" possible" for Libby to completely forget conversations which witnesses had testified took place. Walton determined the question was too vague to be properly answered.
Libby's defense team rested February 15, one week after the prosecution finished presenting its evidence against Libby. Lawyers subsequently made their closing arguments February 20 in which the defense argued that Libby was a scapegoat for presidential aide Karl Rove's disclosures, while the prosecution argued in its final remarks that Libby was merely trying to a cover up a potentially illegal intelligence leak.