From the Libby trial: Whatever it was, I didn't do it

Dick Cheney's chief of staff says Libby denied culpability -- then asked him about undercover CIA agents.

By Tim Grieve
Published January 30, 2007 2:50PM (EST)

David Addington, chief of staff for Dick Cheney, is back on the witness stand this morning in the trial of Scooter Libby. Under questioning from Patrick Fitzgerald, Addington just described a meeting he had with Libby as the criminal investigation into the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson began.

Addington -- who worked at the time as Cheney's counsel -- said that he began the conversation by warning Libby that he was a lawyer for the government, not for any one person, and that therefore whatever Libby told him would not be protected by the attorney-client privilege. Libby's response? "He responded with, 'Thank you for the professional warning; I just want to tell you: "I didn't do it."'"

Addington said that he didn't ask Libby what it was that he didn't do.

Addington, who worked at the CIA earlier in his career, says that Libby proceeded to ask him how you would know, if you met someone who worked at the CIA, whether that person was "undercover" or not. Addington told him that you might not know, then offered to provide him a copy of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which makes it a crime to intentionally reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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