Thu, Jun 07, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Cheney hopes Libby verdict won't stand

AP , WASHINGTON

The latest twist in the CIA leak scandal has US Vice President Dick Cheney saying he hopes his former chief of staff, now sentenced to 30 months in prison, will eventually get off.

And that, legal experts say, is an odd statement for a vice president to make.

While expressing support for former chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney and US President George W. Bush are also officials sworn to uphold the law.

"It's a disappointment whenever a person who occupies a high office and takes an oath doesn't respond to a demonstrated serious criminal event in a serious governmental way," former Iran-Contra prosecutor John Barrett said on Tuesday night.

"It's an adversarial process and I understand the personal dimension, but the United States is the side of the case that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are on. Those are their jobs," said Barrett, now a law professor at St. John's University in New York City.

In the Valerie Plame leak case, Bush and particularly Cheney are more than mere friends of Libby and more than merely disinterested public officials.

Their actions are within the scope of the criminal investigation. Both were also witnesses who underwent questioning by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.

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