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Libby is assigned an inmate number

It's another step toward prison, but he's hoping a court will intervene.

June 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — For years he was known as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and assistant to President Bush. On Wednesday, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby became federal inmate No. 28301-016.

Libby, who was convicted in March of lying and obstructing an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity, has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

The assignment of an inmate number by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons represents another step on the road to prison. Libby, however, is hoping that an appeals court will intervene and put the sentence on hold before he is ordered to surrender.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has not indicated when it will rule. Lawyers in the case said Libby had not been assigned to a prison or given a date to surrender.

Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald opposes Libby's bid to delay his prison term. He says Libby does not have a good chance of having his conviction overturned and should begin serving prison time immediately.

Libby's friends have asked Bush to pardon him, a request that the president has sidestepped while the legal case drags on.

Libby, 56, is the only person charged in the leak scandal, which erupted after CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity was revealed in a 2003 syndicated newspaper column.

Libby was not the source for that leak, and neither of the two Bush administration officials who provided the information was charged.

When confronted by prosecutors and FBI agents, however, Libby lied about how he learned about Plame and whom he told, a jury found.

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