WASHINGTON — A star-struck Lewis “Scooter” Libby was so moved by the appearance of two Hollywood celebs at his office in June 2003 that he had to mention it to his CIA briefer the next morning. The disclosure of the brush with movie stars Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz by Vice President Dick Cheney’s then-chief of staff caused a brief roar of laughter Wednesday in Courtroom No. 16, where Libby is on trial for perjury and obstruction of justice.
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The Hollywood stars visited Libby at his office in the Old Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex. When Libby's morning CIA briefer Craig Schmall arrived at his home that Saturday, Libby had to impart his exuberance about the meeting.
Schmall, testifying in the case against Libby revolving around the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name to the media, told prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that Libby was truly "excited about it." So excited that Schmall noted it on the table of contents of his briefing book.
The CIA officer added, "I was excited about it."
Schmall said Libby told him Cruise and Cruz came by to lobby him about how Germany treats Scientologists. The CIA briefer, who made regular 7 a.m. visits to Libby and Cheney at the White House, would also come to Libby's house in Virginia on Saturdays.
Also noted by Schmall on that same briefing book, above his notation of Cruise and Cruz: "Why was the ambassador told this was a VP office question." And then he wrote, "Joe Wilson, Valerie Wilson."
Prosecutors wanted to impress on the jury that Libby knew of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife prior to what he told the FBI and the grand jury, which was that he first learned of Valerie Plame Wilson from NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert. Russert has testified to investigators that Valerie Plame Wilson's name never came up in his conversation on July 10 or 11 with Libby.
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