Former White House aide “Scooter” Libby is looking for potential jurors who trust Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cheney’s credibility has emerged as a key issue in the jury selection phase of the CIA leak trial. He is expected to be called as a witness on behalf of his former chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, who is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with journalists regarding an outed CIA officer.
Libby’s attorneys say it’s critical they know whether potential jurors view the vice president as credible. Two people who expressed doubts about that were dismissed from the jury pool Tuesday.
“I don’t have the highest opinion of him,” a young financial analyst said. “If I had to rank people as to credibility, I wouldn’t put him at the top of the list.”
He was dismissed, as was a young woman who said she was “completely without objectivity” about Bush administration officials who might be called to testify.
“There is nothing they could say or do that would make me think anything positive about them,” the woman said moments before she was excused from the jury pool by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.
Questioning of potential jurors was scheduled to continue Wednesday. Opening arguments are planned Monday in a trial expected to take up to six weeks.
CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity was leaked to the press in 2003, around the time her husband, Joseph Wilson, was criticizing the Bush administration’s march to war. The trial hinges not on the source of the leak but whether Libby lied to investigators.
He says he forgot his conversations with reporters because he had more pressing matters on his mind.
Associated Press Writer Michael J. Sniffen contributed to this report.
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