Jury selection set for ex-Bush adviser
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Potential jurors in the perjury trial of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby likely will be asked their opinions of the Bush administration, political scandals and the Iraq war today, foreshadowing the political tenor of a lengthy trial.
Libby is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding outed CIA officer Valerie Plame. Plame's identity was leaked to reporters in 2003 after her husband criticized the Bush administration's prewar intelligence on Iraq.
The leak touched off a political firestorm and an FBI investigation that Libby is accused of obstructing.
Attorneys for both sides recognize the politics behind the case and have proposed questions for jurors about their views on government, politics and the media.
The answers will be critical for Libby, a Republican who served as an adviser to President Bush and chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. The jury is being drawn from a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans more than nine to one.
"What is your political party preference? Democrat, Republican, Independent or other?" defense attorneys wrote on their list of proposed jury questions.
"Please describe any feelings you have about Vice President Cheney," they also asked.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton has not released his final list of questions but has indicated that such political questions are needed to select a fair jury.
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