Former White House aide and Dechert’s former Washington DC managing partner Lewis “Scooter” Libby was yesterday found guilty of perjury and obstructing justice in the investigation into the outing of a CIA operative.
Libby, vice president Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, will be sentenced on 5 June, but he was found guilty of four out of five counts with which he was charged and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years.
Libby, who was the managing partner of Dechert’s DC office between 1995 and 2001, will be suspended from the DC bar with a recommendation of disbarrment pending. He has vowed to appeal yesterday’s judgement.
He did not testify in the trial, nor did he take the stand in his own defence. He was represented by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison litigator Ted Wells and Baker Botts litigation partner William Jeffress.
The charges stem from an investigation into who at the White House was responsible for leaking the identity to journalists of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA operative. Plame is married to Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador to Niger who openly criticised President Bush’s strategy in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, a strategy on which Libby advised.
Leaking the identity of a CIA agent is a crime in itself, but Libby was being tried for obstruction of justice in the subsequent investigation rather than for the leak itself.
A Dechert spokesperson was unavailable for comment.