Judge Narrows Focus of Libby Trial

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In a ruling today granting Scooter Libby limited access to classified information, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton gave him some bad news: This trial will be about lying. Of course, this is what you’d expect in the trial of a man who’s accused of perjury and obstruction of justice. But Libby’s lawyers had been trying to complicate matters by seeking documents on far-ranging topics, such as Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger, his wife’s affiliation with the CIA, etc. The judge will have none of it.

As he wrote:

…the only question the jury will be asked to resolve in this matter will be whether the defendant intentionally lied when he testified before the grand jury and spoke with FBI agents about statements he purportedly made to the three news reporters concerning Ms. Wilson’s employment. The prosecution of this action, therefore, involves a discrete cast of characters and events, and this Court will not permit it to become a forum for debating the accuracy of Ambassador Wilson’s statements, the propriety of the Iraq war or related matters leading up to the war, as those events are not the basis for the charged offenses. At best, these events have merely an abstract relationship to the charged offenses.

Not a good sign for Libby. You can read the order here.

More from the AP.