The NY Times talks about when the document Libby leaked was declassified…
The National Intelligence Estimate, which was done in October 2002, said that Iraq “will probably have a nuclear weapon during this decade,” but it included some dissenting views. The report was classified.
But amid doubts about the rationale for the invasion of Iraq some of which were attributable to Mr. Wilson’s Op-Ed article, the administration declassified the report on July 18.
Mr. Fitzgerald said in his letter that Mr. Libby discussed the contents of the classified report in a July 8 meeting ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? 10 days before it was declassified ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? with Judith Miller, then a reporter at The Times. Ms. Miller, who spent 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify in the leak case, has told the grand jury that Mr. Libby told her about Ms. Wilson at the same meeting.
This is an incredibly important point because it speaks to exactly what type of info was leaked. See, according to this story, that information was still top secret when Libby talked about it, and if his superiors (namely Cheney, according to the National Journal) told him to disclose these facts prior to the document being open, that’s significant and damaging.
However, his defense team is certainly going to challenge these allegations…
Mr. Libby’s lawyers have already suggested they will mount a defense in which they will not challenge the charge that he made misstatements about how he learned of Ms. Wilson’s identity and whether he shared that information with reporters. They have said that any statements he made to investigators that might have been untrue were the result of his preoccupation with many serious matters of national security at the time.
More to come I’m sure.