Libby Judge: Valerie Plame Status Irrelevant
Judge Walton has instructed the jury that Valerie Plame’s actual status with the CIA or the degree to which any revelations made by Scooter Libby put her in danger are totally irrelevant to the facts of this case. The only issue is whether the statements he made before the grand jury were factual and his state of mind in making these statements.
This is huge, as it would seem to undermine the defense’s quite reasonable stance that misstatements about something which is not a crime is not in fact perjury, since they would not be material to the case at hand.
Update: Later in the instructions, he was more specific about the definition of “material facts” as related to the perjury charge: Those which have a “natural tendency to influence the exercise of the grand jury’s decision-making process.” It must relate to “important fact” with “capacity to influence or effect” the grand jury. “Not necessary for government to prove that the grand jury was in fact misled.”