Sunday 08 July 2007
Washington - The Senate Judiciary Committee may seek testimony from controversial prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about the obstruction of justice case against vice presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, two senators said on Sunday.
Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican member of the committee, said he wanted to hear from Fitzgerald because, "I still haven't figured out what that case is all about."
Libby, the one-time top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was found guilty in March of obstructing an investigation into who blew the cover of a CIA analyst whose husband had criticized the Iraq war.
Libby was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, but President George W. Bush commuted the sentence, angering many Democrats and some Republicans.
Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, has called for the Judiciary Committee to seek Fitzgerald's testimony on the matter.
"Reluctant as I am to agree with Senator Schumer, I think he's right," Specter said on CNN's "Late Edition".
"Why were they pursuing the matter long after there was no underlying crime on the outing of the CIA agent? Why were they pursuing it after we knew who the leaker was?" Specter said.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said that with Specter's blessing, Fitzgerald would likely be called.
"If he has no objection to Mr. Fitzgerald coming forward, I think you may very well see Mr. Fitzgerald before the Senate Judiciary Committee," Leahy said on the same CNN program.
Fitzgerald's critics point out no one was ever charged with leaking the CIA agent's name and the prosecutor pursued Libby long after he knew who had provided her name to the press. But others said obstruction of justice was a serious crime and Fitzgerald was right to continue the case.
Leahy said he saw no point in summoning Libby himself because "his silence has been bought and paid for."
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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free