Monday, January 29, 2007

Russert, Judith Miller To Appear This Week At Libby Trial

This is the week the Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial meets the press.

High-profile journalists such as NBC's Tim Russert and former New York Times reporter Judith Miller are scheduled to be called as witnesses as soon as this week, as the perjury and obstruction trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff heads into its second week of testimony.

Libby's chief lawyer lays it on rather thick with this one:

In court last week, defense attorney Theodore Wells said Russert may have learned Plame's identity from two NBC colleagues before his conversation with Libby. Russert's colleagues, David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell, were working on the Plame story and may have told a forgetful Russert, Wells said.

"Tim Russert is a great reporter, but he's a human being," Wells said.

"Tim Russert can be confused and make an innocent mistake just like anyone else. The sole issue is: Is somebody telling an intentional lie?"

Wells said Libby talked to 10 reporters in the month before Plame's name became public and only brought her name up once, with Miller. The reporters, including The Washington Post's Bob Woodward, can verify that Libby was not "pushing the (Plame) story," Wells said.

It is unclear which reporters will be called by Wells.

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