Thursday evening, Feb. 22 — After two days of deliberation, the jury in the perjury trial of Scooter Libby has not yet reached a verdict. So far, the eight women and four men on the jury have spent close to 12 hours deliberating.
The jury has many highly-educated people on it, including an economist with a Ph.D. from MIT, a retired math teacher, a former Washington Post reporter, a former museum curator, a Web architect, an accountant, and several current or retired federal employees.
Jane Hamsher, who has been present in the courtroom throughout the trial, providing extensive coverage for the blog firedoglake, was in the court’s media room today, which she says was surprisingly crowded with reporters waiting for a verdict. She says nothing much happened there today except that early in the morning, the jurors requested an easel and pictures of all the witnesses, which Hamsher speculates they will use to make a timeline.
Hamsher, mentioning the mathematician and the MIT Ph.D. on the jury, thinks that the jury is likely to use a reasoned approach in coming up with a verdict. She thinks this doesn’t bode well for the effectiveness of the emotional theatrics that Libby’s lawyer displayed in his closing statement.
The trial has drawn a lot of attention because it involved issues that reach all the way up to the Vice President and maybe to the President himself, and it touches on the way that the Iraq war was “sold” to the public. During the early days of the Iraq war, the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, was leaked to the press as part of an effort to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson, who had published an Op-Ed in the New York Times challenging the truth of the administration’s claim that Saddam had received uranium from Africa.
Libby was never charged with being the leaker, but rather of lying to investigators during the investigation of the leak. Still, the charges — two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of justice — are serious, and if Libby is found guilty of all of them, he could face up to 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.
Jury still deliberating in Libby perjury case, Feb. 22, 2007, Reuters
Day Two Begins in Libby Perjury Deliberations, Feb. 22, 2007, Associated Press
About Plame House…, by Jane Hamsher, Feb. 22, 2007, firedoglake, www.firedoglake.com
Lewis Libby, Wikipedia