Former aide to US VP disbarred after conviction



Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was stripped of his ability to practice law on Thursday as a result of his conviction in the CIA leak case.

 

The former White House aide was found guilty a year ago of obstruction of justice and lying. Those are considered crimes involving "moral turpitude" that under the law require disbarment, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled.

 

The court had previously suspended Libby from the practice of law in Washington. President George W Bush in July commuted Libby's 36-month prison sentence, enraging Democrats who accused Bush of abusing his power.

 

A federal jury in Washington convicted Libby of lying and obstructing an investigation into who blew the cover of CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had criticised the Iraq war.

 

Libby had not been charged with leaking Plame's identity to the news media. But Plame said the unmasking destroyed her career and was retaliation after her husband accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence to build its case for the Iraq war.

 

The local Board on Professional Responsibility had recommended that Libby be disbarred, the court said in its brief order. It said Libby has not opposed his disbarment. (Reuters)

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