CBS News reports that the scuttlebutt was correct: The federal grand jury investigating the White House leaking of the identity of a covert CIA operative has handed down indictments against vice-presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. The man known as Dick Cheney’s alter-ego faces charges on five felony criminal counts: two counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury, and one count of obstruction of justice. Arraignment will come at a date to be determined. Libby immediately handed in his letter of resignation; according to CBS News, he has left the White House. If found guilty, Libby could receive a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a $1.25 million fine.
White House senior adviser Karl Rove was not indicted today and continues on in his position. He may still be in legal jeopardy, however, as he remains under investigation.
More is sure to come, and this opens up scrutiny of how the White House maneuvered in order to invade Iraq.
But this ought to serve as a lesson. When a grand jury asks questions, tell the truth. What is interesting is that Libby isn’t being charged for what he said about Valerie Plame — the indictment comes because the grand jury determined that he was not being honest, that he tried to cover up what happened. That is the same thing that brought down Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart, and now, Scooter Libby. Honesty, certainly when one is talking to a grand jury, is the best policy.