Key Players React to Libby Verdict

Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame, talks with Melissa Block about the verdict of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Wilson's op-ed in the New York Times in 2003 questioned the Bush administration's intelligence about Saddam Hussein's intent to buy uranium from Niger. Later, his wife's identity as a CIA operative was disclosed in a Robert Novak column.

Question: Ambassador Wilson, what do you take away from the verdict today?

Answer: Well, what I take away from the verdict is two things. One, I think it's a very sad day when a senior public servant is convicted of crimes, particularly the crime of obstructing justice because, after all, defending the Constitution of the United States is one of the obligations of a public servant. On the other hand, I take away from it the reaffirmation that this is a nation of laws, and that no individual is above the law.

Q: We heard the comments of one of the jurors speaking after the verdict, saying that they were thinking, 'What are we doing with this guy? Where's Rove? Where are the other guys?' Do those comments resonate with you?

A: Well, they do, and of course we have a civil suit that we filed so that we can question Mr. Rove, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Armitage and perhaps others about precisely what their involvement in this matter was. Now that this trial is over, the President of the United States and the Vice President should have no more reason not to share with the American people their roles in this. I would argue that as a start, the President and the Vice President ought to release transcripts of their meetings with Mr. Fitzgerald.

Q: You mentioned the civil suit. This is a civil case you're pursuing charging that White House officials and others conspired to retaliate against you. What new evidence do you think you might be able to introduce in that case, should it come to trial?

A: Well, I think the important thing for us is to be able to get discovery, that way we can ask begin to ask these people some rather pointed questions about their involvement, and that will hopefully unleash more facts about senior officials' involvement in this matter.

Q: If President Bush were to pardon Lewis Libby, how would you feel about that?

A: Well, I think that the – that our system of justice requires that justice be served. And, I would hope that the President, because this is something where he has a distinct conflict of interest – this is after all an assistant to the President who's been convicted – that he would recuse himself and stay out of this matter.

Q: In other words, not issue a pardon?

A: Absolutely.

Melissa Block also talks with Matt Cooper, Washington editor for Portfolio magazine. Cooper, who used to write for Time magazine, initially refused to disclose his sources in the grand jury investigation involving the leak of a Plame's identity, but ultimately complied with an order to testify.

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