Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top adviser made his first court appearance Thursday, pleading not guilty to felony charges of lying to investigators and a grand jury in the probe into a leak of a CIA agent’s name.
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby appeared before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who set the next court date for February 3 and released Libby on his own recognizance.
“With respect your honor, I plead not guilty,” Libby said.
Outside the courthouse, one of Libby’s attorneys, Ted Wells, said, “In pleading not guilty he has declared to the world that he is innocent. He has declared that intends to fight the charges in the indictment, and he has declared that he wants to clear his good name.”
Wells added that Libby welcomed a jury trial.
Libby did not speak to reporters.
The 55-year-old faces one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements.
Libby resigned as Cheney’s chief of staff and national security adviser Friday, the day a federal grand jury handed up an indictment against him after an investigation into who told reporters the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of a former diplomat who had criticized the Bush administration.
Libby is accused of lying to the grand jury and FBI agents about where he first learned Plame’s identity and what he later told reporters about her. (Charges explained)