Does the Scooter Libby pardon have implications for the Russian Federation probe?
- Author: Rogelio Becker Apr 14, 2018,
Apr 14, 2018, 11:12
"Scooter" Lewis Libby, the ex-chief of staff for former Vice President Dick Cheney who was convicted of perjury (among other things) in 2007.
The vice president pushed hard.
Since the conviction, Libby has since had his law license restored and former Virginia Gov. The issue finally climaxed in a meeting in the final days of the presidency. US President Donald J. Trump: "James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR". Asked if a pardon would be about Mr Comey, Ms Conway said no.
Trump said he does not know Libby, but "for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly".
As if to drive home his point, Trump made no serious attempt to address Libby's case.
Since then, the Libby case has been criticised by conservatives, who argue that he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel. Mr Trump has called that probe a "witch hunt". Democrats didn't want the Plame investigation to ensnare the Bush administration's in-house critics. When it came to Libby, Bush felt he had done enough.
Libby's trouble began with the drumbeat leading up to the invasion of Iraq.
The news was first reported by ABC News. He came to his conclusion after traveling to Niger in 2002, on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, to investigate whether Saddam had purchased uranium yellowcake.
Six months later, the New York Times published an opinion piece by former ambassador Joseph Wilson. "That is simply false", Plame said in a statement.
Libby was prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald, a longtime career prosecutor, appointed to investigate the leak of the Central Intelligence Agency officer's identity by then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey.
And Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, the vice ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Trump "is sending a clear signal to others that he will reward obstruction of justice".
By the end of 2003, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the case. Both Bush and Cheney were interviewed by Fitzgerald. Libby was charged with lying to officials investigating an incident in which a Central Intelligence Agency officer's covert status was leaked to the media.
In 2007, a federal court found him guilty of four felonies, including lying to investigators and a grand jury, and obstructing justice. Bush had commuted Libby's sentence but did not issue a full pardon. The new sentence still required Libby to complete a two-year probation, pay $250,000 fine, and perform 400 hours of community service. The President has the right to pardon Mr. Libby and Mr. Libby has been pardoned.
In an Oval Office meeting, Cheney tried once more to persuade the president.
A Philadelphia native who has poor cholesterol, likes eating quiche for dinner, and gets a real charge out of yelling at tv commercials.
Only months after leaving the White House, Cheney expressed his frustration with Bush's decision. I think he has an audience of three, perhaps more. A top adviser to Bush says he had never seen the Vice President focused so single-mindedly on anything over two terms.
Speaking to Wolf Blitzer in 2007, Trump bemoaned Libby's predicament. "But for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly". It's absolutely not about Scooter Libby.