U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will not testify as expected in his former aide’s perjury trial, which has exposed White House efforts to counter Iraq war critics, Libby’s lawyer disclosed on Tuesday.
Cheney will not take the witness stand on behalf of his former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Instead, the defence abruptly prepared to finish presenting its case on Wednesday. It did not immediately explain its reasoning.
The defence had earlier raised the possibility of calling Cheney to testify, creating the prospect of a top Iraq-war architect being forced to answer under oath questions on the administration’s campaign to justify the war.
Libby is charged with lying to investigators as they sought to determine who leaked the identity of a CIA analyst to reporters in 2003, after her husband accused the administration of President George W. Bush of twisting intelligence on Iraq to bolster its case for war.
“We have released the vice president as a potential witness,” attorney Theodore Wells told Judge Reggie Walton.