According to the NYT, they made a mistake, Cheney was not under oath when he answered questions for Fitzgerald in June of 2004. However, as Jeralyn noted in the comments:
I don't think the oath matters. If he wasn't under oath, it's a false statement charge. If he was, it's a perjury charge. But both have the same penalty - 5 years.We also hear that more is going to emerge on the Cheney front...Fitzgerald probably wasn't interested in the Italian report on the Niger documents for more than just background...and don't get "too far out" on Tenet's denial that he was the source of Cheney's info.
Perjury in this kind of case, if it does not occur before the grand jury, requires two witnesses. Perjury before the grand jury, or a false statement charge, does not have that requirement.
Also, a putative defendant may be able to cure a perjurious statement before the grand jury by going back and 'fessing up, if it was not particularly material to the crime, as Rove may have done with his Matthew Cooper conversation, but that option does not appear in the false statement or general perjury statute.
Additional amusement: Reader Zack points out that Cheney's questioning by Fitzgerald would've been right around the same time he dropped the "f" bomb on Patrick Leahy for having the unmitigated gall to question Halliburton's no-bid contracts in Iraq.
Evidently the Veep thinks he is above quite a bit, no?
Wonkette: "Word on the rainy streets of Washington is that Patrick Fitzgerald will be recalling some witnesses soon. Conflicting word is that he will announce indictments Thursday. Whatever the case, things are ugly and it's not just the weather....According to a reporter intimately familiar with White House operations, 'these slimy thugs are turning on each other like runner-up beauty queens.'"
Steve Clemons: "An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN:
1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.Steve is also reporting the rumor that McCain has been approached to replace Cheney if "health problems" force him to step down.
2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.
3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.
4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday."