By: Greg Mitchell
After 10 days of deliberations, announcement of a decision in the Libby/CIA leak case came at noon: The jury in the federal case found I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby guilty on four out of the five counts. The one not guilty verdict involved his conversation with Matt Cooper of Time magazine.
The guilty charges included those for obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to the FBI. He faces, most likely, about four years in prison.
The defense said it would appeal.
Libby made no statement and showed little reaction after verdict read, according to courtroom accounts.
Jurors and White House spokesman Tony Snow are expected to speak shortly.
Libby’s attorney, Ted Wells, said outside the courthouse, “We are very disappointed in the verdict….We have every confidence that Mr. Libby will be vindicated….We believe he is totally innocent.”
CNN caught up with Vice President Cheney, Libby’s former boss and a key figure in the trial, on Capitol Hill but he hurried away without commenting.
The White House had no comment except to offer sympathy for Libby and his family.
Denis Collins, a juror, told reporters that the jury felt Libby was only a “fall guy” and asked themselves, “where is Rove and the other guys?”
Pre-sentencing investigation will be conducted with report due May 15.
The New York Times observes: “Even if the conviction is overturned on appeal, or voided by a presidential pardon, the conviction is, for the moment, a personal tragedy for Scooter’ Libby, as he has been known since childhood. It is also a major embarrassment for the Bush administration, whose Iraq policy is increasingly unpopular with the public and is under increasing attack on Capitol Hill.”
Related E&P stories:
— White House: Little Comment on Libby Verdict
— Juror Explains Libby Verdict: They Felt He Was ‘Fall Guy’