WASHINGTON – Lawyers for former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby sought Thursday to delay his trial on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges in the CIA leak investigation.
In a court filing, Libby's lead attorney, Theodore V. Wells Jr., asked that the trial, now scheduled to begin Jan. 8, be moved to Feb. 12.
Wells said he is worried that he won't be done with an unrelated trial, set to begin in September in California, by the time Libby's case is supposed to go forward.
The California trial — involving allegations of a massive securities fraud — originally was expected to last 10 weeks, Wells said. But he said recent developments have led him to believe it could take longer.
Wells said Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is willing to go along with the delay unless the trial date in the California case is changed.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton will decide whether to grant the defense's request.
Libby was charged last October with lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury about how he learned and when he subsequently told three reporters about CIA officer Valerie Plame. He faces five counts of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.
Several news organizations wrote about Plame after syndicated columnist Robert Novak named her in a column on July 14, 2003. Novak's column appeared eight days after Plame's husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, alleged in an opinion piece in The New York Times that the administration had twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq to justify going to war.