Friday, October 27, 2006

Memory expert in CIA leak case forgot that she met prosecutor before

A memory expert testifying on behalf of a former aide to Vice President Cheney, who is accused of lying to prosecutors in the CIA leak case, forgot that she had met the special prosecutor before, and was reduced to "stuttering" and "backpedaling" on the stand, according to The Washington Post.

Elizabeth F. Loftus, a professor of criminology and psychology at the University of California at Irvine, was trying to bolster I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense, but Patrick J. Fitzgerald "sliced" her up.

"Citing several of her publications, footnotes and the work of her peers, Fitzgerald got Loftus to acknowledge that the methodology she had used at times in her long academic career was not that scientific, that her conclusions about memory were conflicting, and that she had exaggerated a figure and a statement from her survey of D.C. jurors that favored the defense," Carol D. Leonnig writes.

The Post reports that "Loftus was completely caught off guard by Fitzgerald, creating some very awkward silences in the courtroom."

"One of those moments came when Loftus insisted that she had never met Fitzgerald," the article continues. "He then reminded her that he had cross-examined her before, when she was an expert defense witness and he was a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in New York."


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