WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby want more information about an unusual immunity-from-prosecution deal that government lawyers gave former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer in the CIA leak case.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says that in early 2004, as his investigation was heating up into who revealed CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson 's name to reporters, Fleischer stepped forward with an offer to prosecutors: Promise no prosecution and he would help their case.
Fleischer acknowledged being one of the leakers, but he wouldn't say a word without immunity.
Prosecutors normally insist on an informal account of what a witness will say before agreeing to such a deal. It's known in legal circles as a proffer, and Fitzgerald said Thursday that he never got one from Fleischer, who was chief White House spokesman for the first 2 1/2 years of President Bush's first term.
"I didn't want to give him immunity. I did so reluctantly," Fitzgerald said in court Thursday. "I was buying a pig in a poke."
Defense lawyers are skeptical. Fleischer is expected to testify Monday against Libby, who is accused of lying and obstructing Fitzgerald's investigation.
"I'm not sure we're getting the full story here," defense lawyer William Jeffress said in court.
To view Libby trial documents, go to wid.ap.org/documents/libbytrial/index.html .