Russert and Cooper Comment on Libby Verdict

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By: E&P Staff

Tim Russert, described as the “star witness” in the Libby/CIA leak case, said tonight, “I take no joy in this” — with Lewis “Scooter” Libby found guilty today of four of five counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice. Three of the counts were related to a conversation Libby had with Russert in 2003.

Russert, appearing on NBC Nightly News, said he did not seek a key position in the trial “but when called to testify, under oath, one must tell the truth.” He said that he worried about journalists getting subpoenas but once called he told it straight at the trial.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” another witness. Matt Cooper, formerly of Time magazine, said, that “like many, I’m glad it’s over.” He pointed out that this wasn’t a “he said/she said” case but “it was 9 or 10 people who did him in,” referring to Libby. He added that originally he thought his testimony would help clear Libby, since Karl Rove, not Libby, leaked Plame’s name to him.

Why did he think Libby lied? “I assume he thought the leak investigation, like so many others, wouldn’t go anywhere,” he said. “He didn’t imagine they would assign a bulldog like Patrick Fitzgerald to the case.”

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Related E&P stories:

Juror Explains Libby Verdict: They Felt He Was ‘Fall Guy’

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