http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/hottopic/?id=110009555 The Libby Injustice A political dispute whose "crime" was solved a long time ago. Saturday, January 20, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST EXCERPT Opening arguments begin next week in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and, regardless of the verdict, it is our firm belief that this is a case that should never have been brought. While a tragedy for Mr. Libby and his family in personal terms, the case is among the most egregious examples we can recall of criminalizing political differences. In the most important sense, this is a case without a crime. Yes, Mr. Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, which are serious offenses. But this seasoned, disciplined lawyer is accused of lying to cover up a leak he didn't commit, and which has long been proven not to have been a crime at all. One early bit of drama will be to see what motive prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerland comes up with to explain why Mr. Libby would lie to the FBI and a grand jury when he had essentially nothing to hide. All the more so because one of the mysteries of this case is Mr. Fitzgerald himself. He made his reputation as a tough prosecutor in Chicago who was nonetheless scrupulous about the law. But in this case, he knew from the very first day of his appointment in December 2003 that neither Mr. Libby nor the Vice President's office had orchestrated the leak of Valerie Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak. He also knew--based on earlier FBI interviews--that the real leaker was Richard Armitage, the No. 2 man at the State Department and if anything a policy rival of Mr. Libby's inside the Bush Administration. The original theory of the case--that the leak was a political vendetta against Ms. Plame's husband, Joe Wilson--was thus demonstrably false from the start of his probe. The "crime," in short, had been solved. Yet Mr. Fitzgerald has persisted for three long years, and only six weeks into his investigation sought and received an expansion of his authority in order to go after a senior administration official--Mr. Libby--who had had nothing to do with the leak Mr. Fitzgerald was investigating. And he pursued the case even to the extent of creating a Constitutional showdown over reporters and their sources. Why?