The New York Times reports Vice President Cheney led the effort to discredit Joe Wilson. According to the Times, Scooter Libby learned of Valerie Wilson’s role at the CIA from Cheney during a June 12, 2003 conversation:
The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson’s husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administration’s handling of intelligence about Iraq’s nuclear program to justify the war.
The notes do not show that Mr. Cheney knew the name of Mr. Wilson’s wife. But they do show that Mr. Cheney did know and told Mr. Libby that Ms. Wilson was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and that she may have helped arrange her husband’s trip.
Appearing on Meet the Press on September 14, 2003, Cheney played dumb:
I don’t know Mr. Wilson. I probably shouldn’t judge him. I have no idea who hired him and it never came [up]…
Whether or not Cheney is in legal trouble, if the New York Times report is true, it’s clear he misled the American people.