Indictment Dissected: Cheney’s Role

[This is the first part of a Think Progress series breaking down the significance of the Libby indictment.]

There are a few instances in the indictments that point to a larger role that Dick Cheney may have played in the leak. Here are some examples:

Libby was “advised by the Vice President” that “Wilson’s wife worked” at the CIA in the Counterproliferation Division (see #9). The verb “advised by” is oddly-placed and echoes language from fact #16 when Libby “advises” Ari Fleischer about Plame’s identity. The verb seems to be synonymous with “instructed.” This discussion, referenced in fact #9, follows a staff meeting in the VP’s office the preceding day (see #8) in which Wilson was discussed. Was Cheney trying to emphasize what he saw as the most strategic attack to Pincus’s column?

While onboard Air Force Two with Cheney, Libby is reported to have “discussed with other officials aboard the plane” what to say in response to media inquires about Wilson (see #22). See Talking Points Memo for more about Cheney’s role on this flight.

On p.21 of the indictment, a transcript of Libby’s grand jury testimony is provided. The prosecutors ask Libby why he was telling reporters that his source of knowledge for Plame’s identity was “a reporter rather than the Vice-President.