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Prosecutor in CIA leak case says Libby should get three years

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published May 26, 2007


WASHINGTON - Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has shown no remorse for corrupting the legal system and deserves to spend two and a half to three years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Friday.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and an assistant to President Bush, is the highest-ranking White House official convicted since the Iran-Contra affair two decades ago.

In court documents, Fitzgerald rejected criticism from Libby's supporters who said the leak investigation had spun out of control. Fitzgerald denied the prosecution was politically motivated and said Libby brought his fate upon himself.

"The judicial system has not corruptly mistreated Mr. Libby, " Fitzgerald wrote. "Mr. Libby has been found by a jury of his peers to have corrupted the judicial system."

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who has a reputation for handing down tough sentences, has broad discretion over Libby's fate. Walton faces two important questions: whether to send Libby to prison and, if so, whether to delay the sentence until his appeals have run out.

Libby's lawyers have not filed their sentencing documents but are expected to ask that he receive no jail time. They have said that if Walton orders prison time, they will ask that Libby be allowed to remain free during appeals.

Libby was convicted in March of lying to investigators about what he told reporters regarding CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose 2003 exposure touched off the leak investigation. Plame was identified in a newspaper column after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, began criticizing the Bush administration's prewar intelligence on Iraq.

No one was charged with the leak itself, including the initial source of the disclosure, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.