[JURIST] Lawyers for former vice-presidential Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive] said in a court filing Wednesday that Libby told a grand jury two years ago that President Bush and Vice President Cheney had authorized him to released previously classified information in response to criticism of the Iraq war, but not the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame [JURIST news archive]. Court documents [PDF text] filed last week revealed that Libby testified that Bush authorized him to disclose "certain information" [JURIST report] but did not define what the information was.
President Bush has since defended his decision [JURIST report] to declassify portions of an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate [Wikipedia backgrounder; definition] to support his case for the Iraq war. Libby's lawyers assert that the declassified material made no mention of Plame, and are continuing a legal battle to obtain classified government documents [JURIST report] that may be relevant to his defense. Libby faces obstruction of justice and perjury charges [PDF indictment; JURIST report] in connection with the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity. He pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges last November. The Washington Post has more.