I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted on Tuesday of lying to a grand jury and to F.B.I. agents investigating the leak of the identity of a C.I.A. operative in the summer of 2003 amid a fierce public dispute over the war in Iraq.
Mr. Libby, 56, who once wielded great authority at the top levels of government, is the highest-ranking White House official to be convicted of a felony since the Iran-contra scandals of the 1980s.
The jury rejected Mr. Libby’s claims of memory lapses, convicting him of four felony counts, obstruction of justice, giving false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and committing perjury twice before the grand jury. The 11-member jury acquitted Mr. Libby on an additional count of making false statements to the F.B.I.
As the verdict was read aloud by the jury forewoman after nearly 10 days of deliberations, Mr. Libby grimaced briefly before resuming his expressionless demeanor. His wife, Harriet Grant, sitting a few feet away in the spectator section, began shaking visibly and wept briefly before composing herself.
Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary, said President Bush watched the news of the verdict on television in the Oval Office. She said Mr. Bush respected the jury’s verdict but “was saddened for Scooter Libby and his family,” using Mr. Libby’s nickname.
Mr. Cheney had a similar reaction. “As I have said before, Scooter has served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction through many years of public service,” he said.
The verdict meant the end of a nearly four-year investigation into the leak of the identity of the Central Intelligence Agency officer, Valerie Wilson. The inquiry raised fundamental questions about the reasons for invading Iraq, exposed some of the unseen influence of Mr. Cheney’s office and changed the landscape of relations between journalists and official sources, as many of Washington’s prominent political reporters were forced to testify in a criminal trial.