Top White House officials tried to blame vice presidential aide "Scooter" Libby for the 2003 leak of a CIA operative's identity to protect President Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove, Libby's defense attorney said Tuesday as the aide's perjury trial began.Here's what AmericaBlog has to say in its roundup of today's trial opener:
While most politicos and pundits are focused on the State of the Union, a building that lies just about half way between the White House and the Capitol is the scene of another major political drama. That would be the Federal Court where opening arguments took place this morning in the trial of Scooter Libby. And it's been explosive today. Libby's claim is that Rove set him up. The prosecutor says that Cheney played a much, much bigger role in the scandal.
The Associated Press report on opening arguments in the Libby trial led with defense team's claim that Libby is another victim of Karl Rove:I. Lewis Libby's attorney countered by painting a different White House plot, alleging that administration officials sought to blame Libby for the leak to protect Bush political adviser Karl Rove's own disclosures.Think Progress has the video from MSNBC's report that Cheney was "more deeply involved in the CIA leak case than previously thought." David Shuster reported that Cheney's involvement would "astound a number of people even those who have been following this case." From ther reports on Fitzgerald's opening argument, it sounds like Cheney was indeed the mastermind behind the effort to fight back against Ambassador Wilson.
"They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb," attorney Theodore Wells said, recalling a conversation between Libby and his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, as the leak investigation heated up in 2003. "I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected."