In an interview with The Daily Caller, former Vice President Dick Cheney says former New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s new doubts about the accuracy of her testimony against Scooter Libby confirms his long-held belief that his former top aide was wrongly charged by a “runaway special prosecutor” trying to make a name for himself in the Valerie Plame affair.
“Scooter paid a hell of a price, and he was an innocent man all along,” Cheney told TheDC in a Wednesday morning phone call.
“I always believed Scooter was innocent,” Cheney added. “What Judith Miller basically provides is confirmation of the fact that he was innocent.”
Miller served as a witness in the 2007 trial against Libby on counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements. She testified in the trial that Libby had told her that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. Prosecutors argued Libby lied to cover that up.
But in her new book, The Story: A Reporter’s Journey, Miller says she has now concluded, after reviewing old notes, that her testimony about her conversations with Libby that led to his conviction may have been false. Miller says she is afraid her memory “may have failed me” during the trial, and now doubts Libby ever told her that Plame worked for the CIA.
“My testimony, though sworn honestly, might have been wrong,” Miller writes in her book, saying she now worries she “helped to convict an innocent man.”
Miller also suggests in her book that Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald “steered” her “in the wrong direction” to potentially give inaccurate testimony.
At the end of his term, President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence of 30-months in prison. Bush did not pardon him, meaning Libby remains a convicted felon to this day.
Cheney told TheDC on Wednesday that he wants to see Libby’s name “cleared.”
Asked if he will renew a push for a presidential pardon, Cheney said: “I don’t have any plans at this point. I don’t know what Scooter will do and what’s immediately available to him.”
“I think it’s important that the record reflect the fact that he was not guilty of any crime,” Cheney said. “That there’s been a gross miscarriage of justice here, and at a minimum, the record needs to be set straight, and that stigma of being a convicted felon needs to be dealt with. He ought to be able to renew his law license, his ability to practice law again, and so forth. So I think the Miller book is important because it sets the record straight.”
Miller also writes in her book that she learned from Libby’s attorney that Fitzgerald “had twice offered to drop all charges against Libby if his client would ‘deliver’ Cheney to him.”
Cheney says that shows what Fitzgerald’s real intentions were in going after Libby.
“It was a runaway special prosecutor who, I think, manipulated the system because he was trying to make a name for himself,” Cheney said. “I apparently was the target based upon the fact that he went to Scooter’s lawyer and told him if Scooter would testify against me he’d drop the charges against Scooter. I hadn’t been accused of anything. I hadn’t done anything.”