Vice president Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr. was indicted today on 5 charges (indictment documents) related to the outting of CIA agent Valerie Plame — ranging from obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements — and could face up to 30 years behind bars if found guilty. Libby, 55, immediatedly resigned and left the White House.
We assessed yesterday that Libby would be the fall guy for the charges stemming from the scandal, while it also appears presidential advisor Karl Rove may also see some indictments for perjury. And there’s been some speculation in the past that Bush himself might be called before the grand jury, though that seems unlikely now.
Curiously, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has yet to connect the charges with any political motive or conspiracy, which could bring higher level charges such as treason. Fitzgerald however, has said that the investigation portion is still underway and more charges may still be brought:
“Is the investigation finished? It’s not over,” Fitzgerald said at a news conference. “But… very rarely do you bring a charge in a case that’s going to be tried in which you ever end a grand jury investigation. I can tell you that the substantial bulk of the work of this investigation is concluded.”
This could bode very badly for the vice president’s office if Fitzgerald can connect enough dots to connect Cheney to a conspiracy.