Friday, February 16, 2007

Libby's 'conspiracy theory' never took root in court

The "conspiracy theory" hinted at by former White House aide I. Lewis Libby's lawyers at the start of his trial "never really took root in court," notes an article in Friday's L.A. Times.

"In his opening statement three weeks ago in the federal perjury trial of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, defense lawyer Theodore V. Wells Jr. dropped a bombshell," Richard B. Schmitt writes. "In dramatic tones, Wells declared that Libby had been the victim of a White House conspiracy to make Libby the fall guy for the CIA leak scandal."

Schmitt reports that "when the jury begins deliberating the fate of the former vice presidential aide next week, it will have seen virtually no evidence to back up the provocative claim."

"The difference between what Wells promised and delivered, and how it will play with the 12-member panel, is just one of the wild cards as the trial winds up," Schmitt continues.

"Endelivered promises" by defense attorneys may sometimes "backfire," because, as one former US Attorney tells the L.A. Times, it can potentially provide "the government an opportunity during closing arguments to cast doubt on the entire defense case."


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