Cheney on the stand?

Scooter Libby's defense attorneys say they plan to call Vice President Cheney as a witness in Libby's perjury trial.

Published December 19, 2006 8:12PM (EST)

Soon appearing at a witness stand near you: Vice President Dick Cheney.

Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney prosecuting a perjury case against former senior administration official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has told the presiding judge he has no plans to call the vice president, on whose staff Libby primarily served. But defense attorneys for Libby have other ideas. Before a hearing today, they told the judge that they would be calling Cheney as a witness. And, for his part, Fitzgerald apparently believes the White House will not resist any attempts to do so.

Still, anyone hoping that the proverbial smoking gun will arise out of Cheney's time on the stand is likely to be disappointed; if Cheney did order that Valerie Plame's name and status as a covert CIA operative be released and is questioned on the matter, he could plead the Fifth, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Dick Cheney War Room