WASHINGTON – Attorneys for former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby rested their case in the CIA leak trial Wednesday after a day of legal wrangling over classified information and whether additional witnesses could be presented.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald called no rebuttal witnesses, ending the testimony phase of the trial. Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.
The final day of testimony in Libby's perjury and obstruction trial had been billed as a blockbuster. Attorneys said for months that Libby and his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, would testify for the defense.
But Libby's attorneys reversed course Tuesday and said neither man would testify, leaving Wednesday to fight over whether NBC newsman Tim Russert could be called back to testify and how much evidence jurors would hear in Libby's absence.
The change in who would testify prompted U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to reverse course, too. He told defense attorneys that if Libby didn't testify he would not allow some classified information to be presented to the jury as Libby's defense team had planned.
"My absolute understanding was that Mr. Libby was going to testify," Walton said, recalling why he had agreed months ago to allow some classified information into evidence. "My ruling was based on the fact that he was going to testify."