A lawyer for I. Lewis Libby Jr. tried to chip away at the credibility of the television journalist Tim Russert today, suggesting at Mr. Libby’s trial that there was “bad blood” between Mr. Libby and NBC News.
The lawyer, Theodore V. Wells Jr., is trying to convince a Federal District Court jury that Mr. Russert, the Washington bureau chief for NBC, is not necessarily to be believed when his recollections differ so starkly from those of Mr. Libby, who is accused of lying to F.B.I. agents and grand jurors investigating the unmasking of a covert C.I.A. agent.
Mr. Libby told a grand jury in sworn testimony that he was told the C.I.A. agent’s identity on July 10 or 11, 2003, by Mr. Russert. Mr. Libby, who was then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has acknowledged first learning the agent’s identity several weeks before from Mr. Cheney, but he has said he then forgot about it and, in a sense, learned it all over again from Mr. Russert.
But Mr. Russert testified on Wednesday that Mr. Libby’s account is not true. Mr. Russert said he did not know about the C.I.A. agent when he talked to Mr. Libby, who had called to complain about a report on an NBC cable unit.