Office of Special Counsel
Friday, October 28, 2005; 1:49 PM
Following is the full text of the indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, after a two-year investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's identity:
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Holding a Criminal Term
Grand Jury Sworn in on October 31, 2003
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. I. LEWIS LIBBY, also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY"
GRAND JURY ORIGINAL
Count 1: Obstruction of Justice (18 U.S.C. Section 1503)
Counts 2-3: False Statements (18 U.S.C. Section 1001(a)(2))
Counts 4-5: Perjury (18 U.S.C. Section 1623)
COUNT ONE (Obstruction of Justice)
THE GRAND JURY CHARGES:
1. At times material to this indictment:
Defendant's Employment and Responsibilities
a. Beginning on or about January 20, 2001, and continuing through the date of
this indictment, defendant I. LEWIS LIBBY, also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY," was employed
as Assistant to the President of the United States, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, and Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs. In the course of his work, LIBBY had frequent access to classified information and frequently spoke with officials of the U.S. intelligence community, as well as other government officials, regarding sensitive national security matters.
b. In connection with his role as a senior government official with responsibilities for national security matters, LIBBY held security clearances entitling him to access to classified information. As a person with such clearances, LIBBY was obligated by applicable laws and regulations, including Title 18, United States Code, Section 793, and Executive Order 12958 (as modified by Executive Order 13292), not to disclose classified information to persons not authorized to receive such information, and otherwise to exercise proper care to safeguard classified information against unauthorized disclosure. On or about January 23, 2001, LIBBY executed a written "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement," stating in part that "I understand and
accept that by being granted access to classified information, special confidence and trust shall be placed in me by the United States Government," and that "I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to advantage by a foreign nation."
The Central Intelligence Agency
c. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was an agency of the United States whose mission was to collect, produce, and disseminate intelligence and counterintelligence information to officers and departments of the United States government, including the President, the National Security Council, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
d. The responsibilities of certain CIA employees required that their association with the CIA be kept secret; as a result, the fact that these individuals were employed by the CIA was classified. Disclosure of the fact that such individuals were employed by the CIA had the potential to damage the national security in ways that ranged from preventing the future use of those individuals in a covert capacity, to compromising intelligence-gathering methods and operations, and endangering the safety of CIA employees and those who dealt with them.
Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson
e. Joseph Wilson ("Wilson") was a former career State Department official who had held a variety of posts, including United States Ambassador. In 2002, after an inquiry to the CIA by the Vice President concerning certain intelligence reporting, the CIA decided on its own initiative to send Wilson to the country of Niger to investigate allegations involving Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake, a processed form of uranium ore. Wilson orally reported his findings to the CIA upon his return.
f. Joseph Wilson was married to Valerie Plame Wilson ("Valerie Wilson"). At all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson's affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.
Events Leading up to July 2003
2. On or about January 28, 2003, President George W. Bush delivered his State of the Union address which included sixteen words asserting that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
3. On May 6, 2003, the New York Times published a column by Nicholas Kristof which disputed the accuracy of the "sixteen words" in the State of the Union address. The column reported that, following a request from the Vice President's office for an investigation of allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger, an unnamed former ambassador was sent on a trip to Niger in 2002 to investigate the allegations. According to the column, the ambassador reported back to the CIA and State Department in early 2002 that the allegations were unequivocally wrong and based on forged documents.
4. On or about May 29, 2003, in the White House, LIBBY asked an Under Secretary of State ("Under Secretary") for information concerning the unnamed ambassador's travel to Niger to investigate claims about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake. The Under Secretary thereafter directed the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research to prepare a report concerning the ambassador and his trip. The Under Secretary provided LIBBY with interim oral reports in late May and early June 2003, and advised LIBBY that Wilson was the former ambassador who took the trip.
5. On or about June 9, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed to the Office of the Vice President to the personal attention of LIBBY and another person in the Office of the Vice President. The faxed documents, which were marked as classified, discussed, among other things, Wilson and his trip to Niger, but did not mention Wilson by name. After receiving these documents, LIBBY and one or more other persons in the Office of the Vice President handwrote the names "Wilson" and "Joe Wilson" on the documents.
6. On or about June 11 or 12, 2003, the Under Secretary of State orally advised LIBBY in the White House that, in sum and substance, Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that State Department personnel were saying that Wilson's wife was involved in the planning of his trip.
7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.
8. Prior to June 12, 2003, Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus contacted the Office of the Vice President in connection with a story he was writing about Wilson's trip. LIBBY participated in discussions in the Office of the Vice President concerning how to respond to Pincus.
9. On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Division. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.
10. On June 12, 2003, the Washington Post published an article by reporter Walter Pincus about Wilson's trip to Niger, which described Wilson as a retired ambassador but not by name, and reported that the CIA had sent him to Niger after an aide to the Vice President raised questions about purported Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium. Pincus's article questioned the accuracy of the "sixteen words," and stated that the retired ambassador had reported to the CIA that the uranium purchase story was false.
11. On or about June 14, 2003, LIBBY met with a CIA briefer. During their conversation he expressed displeasure that CIA officials were making comments to reporters critical of the Vice President's office, and discussed with the briefer, among other things, "Joe Wilson" and his wife "Valerie Wilson," in the context of Wilson's trip to Niger.
12. On or about June 19, 2003, an article appeared in The New Republic magazine online entitled "The First Casualty: The Selling of the Iraq War." Among other things, the article questioned the "sixteen words" and stated that following a request for information from the Vice President, the CIA had asked an unnamed ambassador to travel to Niger to investigate allegations that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger. The article included a quotation attributed to the unnamed ambassador alleging that administration officials "knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie." The article also was critical of how the administration, including the Office of the Vice President, portrayed intelligence concerning Iraqi capabilities with regard to weapons of mass destruction, and accused the administration of suppressing dissent from the intelligence agencies on this topic.
13. Shortly after publication of the article in The New Republic, LIBBY spoke by telephone with his then Principal Deputy and discussed the article. That official asked LIBBY whether information about Wilson's trip could be shared with the press to rebut the allegations that the Vice President had sent Wilson. LIBBY responded that there would be complications at the CIA in disclosing that information publicly, and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure telephone line.
14. On or about June 23, 2003, LIBBY met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller. During this meeting LIBBY was critical of the CIA, and disparaged what he termed "selective leaking" by the CIA concerning intelligence matters. In discussing the CIA's handling of Wilson's trip to Niger, LIBBY informed her that Wilson's wife might work at a bureau of the CIA.
The July 6 "Op Ed" Article by Wilson
15. On July 6, 2003, the New York Times published an Op-Ed article by Wilson entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa." Also on July 6, 2003, the Washington Post published an article about Wilson's 2002 trip to Niger, which article was based in part upon an interview of Wilson. Also on July 6, Wilson appeared as a guest on the television interview show "Meet the Press." In his Op-Ed article and interviews in print and on television, Wilson asserted, among other things, that he had taken a trip to Niger at the request of the CIA in February 2002 to investigate allegations that Iraq had sought or obtained uranium yellowcake from Niger, and that he doubted Iraq had obtained uranium from Niger recently, for a number of reasons. Wilson stated that he believed, based on his understanding of government procedures, that the Office of the Vice President was advised of the results of his trip.
LIBBY's Actions Following Wilson's July 6 "Op Ed" Column
16. On or about July 7, 2003, LIBBY had lunch with the then White House Press Secretary and advised the Press Secretary that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and noted that such information was not widely known.
17. On or about the morning of July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller. When the conversation turned to the subject of Joseph Wilson, LIBBY asked that the information LIBBY provided on the topic of Wilson be attributed to a "former Hill staffer" rather than to a "senior administration official," as had been the understanding with respect to other information that LIBBY provided to Miller during this meeting. LIBBY thereafter discussed with Miller Wilson's trip and criticized the CIA reporting concerning Wilson's trip. During this discussion, LIBBY advised Miller of his belief that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.
18. Also on or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with the Counsel to the Vice President in an anteroom outside the Vice President's Office. During their brief conversation, LIBBY asked the Counsel to the Vice President, in sum and substance, what paperwork there would be at the CIA if an employee's spouse undertook an overseas trip.
19. Not earlier than June 2003, but on or before July 8, 2003, the Assistant to the Vice President for Public Affairs learned from another government official that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, and advised LIBBY of this information.
20. On or about July 10, 2003, LIBBY spoke to NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert to complain about press coverage of LIBBY by an MSNBC reporter. LIBBY did not discuss Wilson's wife with Russert.
21. On or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White House ("Official A") who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson's wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson's trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson's wife.
22. On or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discussed with other officials aboard the plane what LIBBY should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matthew Cooper.
23. On or about July 12, 2003, in the afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone to Cooper, who asked whether LIBBY had heard that Wilson's wife was involved in sending Wilson on the trip to Niger. LIBBY confirmed to Cooper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this information too.
24. On or about July 12, 2003, in the late afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone with Judith Miller of the New York Times and discussed Wilson's wife, and that she worked at the CIA.
The Criminal Investigation
25. On or about September 26, 2003, the Department of Justice authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") to commence a criminal investigation into the possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information regarding the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's affiliation with the CIA to various reporters in the spring of 2003.
26. As part of the criminal investigation, LIBBY was interviewed by Special Agents of the FBI on or about October 14 and November 26, 2003, each time in the presence of his counsel. During these interviews, LIBBY stated to FBI Special Agents that:
a. During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this statement because, while speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson's wife's employment from the Vice President.
b. During a conversation with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine on or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY told Cooper that reporters were telling the administration that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, but that LIBBY did not know if this was true; and
c. LIBBY did not discuss Wilson's wife with New York Times reporter Judith Miller during a meeting with Miller on or about July 8, 2003.
27. Beginning in or about January 2004, and continuing until the date of this indictment, Grand Jury 03-3 sitting in the District of Columbia conducted an investigation ("the Grand Jury Investigation") into possible violations of federal criminal laws, including: Title 50, United States Code, Section 421 (disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personnel); and Title 18, United States Code, Sections 793 (improper disclosure of national defense information), 1001 (false statements), 1503 (obstruction of justice), and 1623 (perjury).
28. A major focus of the Grand Jury Investigation was to determine which government officials had disclosed to the media prior to July 14, 2003 information concerning the affiliation of Valerie Wilson with the CIA, and the nature, timing, extent, and purpose of such disclosures, as well as whether any official making such a disclosure did so knowing that the employment of Valerie Wilson by the CIA was classified information.