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Call it the "I-can't-recall" defense.


Libby's defense may rest on hectic schedule
Indicted aide could say he can't recall conversations
By MarketWatch
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Call it the "I-can't-recall" defense.

A lawyer representing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is outlining a possible criminal defense strategy for his client that appears to rely on the muddle involved in hectic schedules, chaotic times and an overall blur of events and conversations, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.

Attorney Joseph Tate complained in a statement that allegations that Libby lied to the FBI agents and a federal grand jury relied too heavily on recollection amid "the hectic rush of issues and events at a busy time for our government." The aide resigned Friday from his role as Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

Libby was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury on five counts that include lying to prosecutors, perjury and obstruction of justice of his involvement in the leak of covert agent's identity. The indictment ended a two-year investigation into who revealed to reporters that Valerie Plame was an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency. See full story.

Tate said he and his client were "quite distressed" that the charges of "alleged inconsistencies in Mr. Libby's recollection" were considered "false statements," the AP reported.

"As lawyers, we recognize that a person's recollection and memory of events will not always match those of other people, particularly when they are asked to testify months after the events occurred," Tate said.

Libby has not been arrested and is expected to testify within days.

On Friday, Cheney released a statement praising Libby as "one of the most capable and talented individuals I have ever known" and said he accepted Libby's decision to resign "with deep regret."

Cheney said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the charges or any facts related to the proceedings. President Bush and Cheney both emphasized that Libby enjoys a presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a jury.

Meanwhile, Plame's husband Joe Wilson said Friday that his wife has been threatened, according to excerpts of an interview from CBS's 60 Minutes news program, which will air on Sunday. It's his first interview since Fitzgerald announced the indictment of Libby.

Wilson, a former diplomat, has charged that the White House deliberately revealed his wife's identity to reporters as part of a smear campaign designed to discredit him after he wrote an opinion piece in 2003, published in the New York Times, challenging the administration's assertion that Saddam Hussein was seeking material for nuclear weapons from Niger.

"There have been specific threats [against Plame. Beyond that I just can't go," Wilson tells 60 Minutes, adding that he and his wife have discussed security for her with "several agencies."

Wilson also reportedly says during the interview that, contrary to reports that many knew Plame was in the CIA, only he and three other people knew. "Well, very few people outside the intelligence community [knew she was CIA]. Her parents and her brother, essentially," says Wilson.

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