Reporter contradicts Libby's claims

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Reporter Judith Miller testified Tuesday that former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby identified a CIA operative to her on two occasions on dates earlier than he has told investigators he first heard the information from another reporter.
Miller, the former New York Times reporter who spent 85 days in jail trying to avoid revealing these conversations, said Libby identified the wife of a prominent Iraq war critic as a CIA employee in face-to-face meetings June 23 and July 8, 2003.
Libby, then Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, told the FBI and a grand jury that he thought he was hearing Valerie Plame's CIA job for the first time from NBC's Tim Russert on July 10, 2003.
Five government officials, including ex-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, also have testified that they discussed Plame and her CIA job with Libby before July 10.
Earlier Tuesday, the jury saw notes Libby took on or about June 12 that indicated Cheney himself told Libby then that the war critic's wife worked at the CIA.
The discrepancy over when Libby learned about Plame is a major element in the charges on which he is being tried. He is not accused of leaking her name but rather of perjury and obstruction of the investigation into how her name leaked. Libby now says his memory failed him when he spoke with Russert and other reporters.
Miller became a heroine to many press groups when she went to jail rather discuss conversations with a source whose identity she had agreed not to reveal. She since left the Times for freelancing amid a controversy over her reporting techniques. Her appearance at the trial filled the courtroom seats for the first time and drew several retired reporters.
Accompanied to court by her defense attorney, Bob Bennett, Miller answered Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's questions in a calm, clear voice, never taking her gaze from him. She seemed less calm when questioned by defense attorney William Jeffress; her eyes darted occasionally to the jury and she cleared her nose into a handkerchief.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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