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Final Arguments Heard in Libby Perjury Trial

Prosecution and defense lawyers gave their closing statements on Tuesday in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, who is charged with perjury and obstruction. A Washington Post reporter updates the trial.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    The jury in the federal perjury trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President's Cheney's former chief of staff, spent the entire day hearing final arguments.

    The charges against Libby stem from the investigation into who blew the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Wilson openly refuted the Bush administration's intelligence in the run-up to the war in Iraq. The investigation didn't result in criminal charges connected to the leak itself.

    Instead, the special prosecutor in the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, charged Libby with lying to the grand jury and obstructing the investigation of the Plame leak. Libby originally told the grand jury it was NBC's Tim Russert who first revealed Plame's identity to him during a conversation on July 10, 2003, but later said a search of his notes reminded him it was Vice President Cheney who had been the first, one month earlier.

    But taking the stand at Libby's trial two weeks ago, Russert, who arrived on crutches, maintained he and Libby never discussed Plame during their 2003 conversation.

    Former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was one of several White House officials who testified they did discuss Plame with Libby, which Libby says he simply doesn't recall. Jurors will begin deliberating at this Washington, D.C., federal courthouse tomorrow.

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