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Trump Pardons Cheney’s Former Aide Scooter Libby

Trump Pardons Cheney’s Former Aide Scooter Libby

Comey appointed the special counsel to Libby’s case.

President Donald Trump has pardoned former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby, who received a conviction of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice in 2007.

From The White House:

In 2015, one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said. The next year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law. The Court agreed with the District of Columbia Disciplinary Counsel, who stated that Mr. Libby had presented “credible evidence” in support of his innocence, including evidence that a key prosecution witness had “changed her recollection of the events in question.”

Before his conviction, Mr. Libby had rendered more than a decade of honorable service to the Nation as a public servant at the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the White House. His record since his conviction is similarly unblemished, and he continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers.

In light of these facts, the President believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon. “I don’t know Mr. Libby,” said President Trump, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.”

Libby received his conviction over the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity. He had a 30 month sentence, but President George W. Bush commuted it.

From NBC News:

Libby was convicted of one count of obstruction, two counts of perjury and one count of lying to the FBI about how he learned Plame’s identity and whom he told. Prosecutors said he learned about Plame from Cheney and others, discussed her name with reporters and, fearing prosecution, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.

The trial revealed that top members of the Bush administration were eager to discredit Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the administration of doctoring prewar intelligence on Iraq.

The New York Times said that Libby insisted “that his conviction rested on an innocent difference in memories between him and several witnesses, not an intent to deceive investigators.” His version of the story conflicted with testimonies from eight other people and the jury convicted him.

Many conservatives believe that Libby’s conviction came as a result “of a special prosecutor run amok.” They may have a point, too. In September 2006, CNN reported that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said “that he was the source who first revealed” Plame’s identity to syndicated columnist Robert Novak in 2003:

Armitage told the CBS Evening News that he did so inadvertently.

“I feel terrible,” Armitage said. “Every day, I think, I let down the president. I let down the secretary of state. I let down my department, my family, and I also let down Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.”

In a column published on July 14, 2003, Novak, citing two senior administration officials, noted that Plame was a CIA operative. The column was primarily about Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, a former career diplomat and critic of the intelligence underlying the invasion of Iraq.

Novak has never revealed the original source of the information about Plame. However, he has confirmed that President Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove, confirmed the information and was the second source cited in the column.

As his second term ended, “Bush mulled candidates for presidential pardons.” Cheney tried to persuade Bush to pardon Libby, but it never happened.

The commute of Libby’s sentence kept him out of prison, but the conviction remained and disbarred as a lawyer. The bar reinstated him in 2016.

But I noticed a coincidence and others picked it up as well. Former FBI Director James Comey’s book drops soon and the press has been hot on the trail. Trump even unleashed a few tweets about the former director this morning.

Yes, Comey had involvement in the Libby case. In 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the case, which meant responsibilities fell into the lap of the deputy attorney general. That man? James Comey.

Comey appointed one of his best friends, U.S. attorney from Chicago Patrick Fitzgerald, to serve as special counsel.

I don’t know. In my opinion, I think Bush should have commuted Libby. But to me it looks like Trump is doing this as another shot to Comey.


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she was NOT a CIA “operative”… she was a desk jockey.

the whole story was #MFM #FakeNews

I think Bush should have commuted Libby.

He did.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to tom_swift. | April 13, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Bush did in deed commute Scooter’s prison sentence.

    But Bush still failed to do right by Scooter, because he did not pardon him and he did enter an executive proclamation and fiat enforceable by death that no one in America shall be referred to as “Scooter”.

A shot across Comey’s bow. “Go ahead and prosecute whoever you want. I have the power to pardon and I’m not afraid to use it.”

Half of Foggy Bottom knew that Plame worked for the CIA. She was no longer working clandestinely in the field, or in the field at all. It was pretty much common knowledge throughout the intelligence community, in Washington, what her employment and status were. She was the CIA liaison to the State Department. And, a State Department employee, Richard Armitage, outed her to Novak and Fitzgerald knew that before he even questioned Libby. It is interesting that Armitage skated, while Libby got hosed. This was nothing more than politics designed to harm the credibility of the Administration of George II.

    MarkSmith in reply to Mac45. | April 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    No, all of Foggy Bottom knew and the neighbors, and the neighbor kids and the social party crowd that she hung out with. The Wilson’s are part of the whole scheme team and I bet you can link a lot of what happening today to the entrenched crowd at CIA/DOJ/FBI back then. Bush caved to them and should have had a spine.

They’ll keep at it. It’s all lies, from top to bottom, start to finish—

From NBC News:

The trial revealed that top members of the Bush administration were eager to discredit Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the administration of doctoring prewar intelligence on Iraq.

The trial revealed no such thing. The absurdly illogical “discredit” fantasy was the sole excuse for the entire hysterical Plame episode. It was the start point, not the end.

    alaskabob in reply to tom_swift. | April 13, 2018 at 11:52 am

    When the truth is revealed…still print the lie.

    MarkSmith in reply to tom_swift. | April 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Yes and the Uniparty just sat on their hands about the whole affair instead of calling it BS. The Wilson’s manufactured so much fake news about it. Great example when you let the media and Hollywood control the message.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | April 15, 2018 at 6:50 am

    What do you mean it revealed no such thing? Do you mean that this was no revelation, because it was never any secret? Of course the administration was eager to discredit Wilson. He was peddling his lies all over, and they wanted people to know that he was lying. He was implying that Cheney had personally chosen him and been briefed on his report, while Cheney was saying he’d never heard of him. One question being asked was if Cheney didn’t send him who did. And the answer was his wife did. His wife? Yes, his wife who works at the CIA. Nobody “peddling” this had any idea that was supposed to be a secret — if indeed it was, which we still don’t know.

I wonder if Libby will contribute to the Trump legal team to get back at Comey. He definitely has an ax to grind.

Would be sweet if he did. I followed that trial and he was railroaded. I was disappointed that Bush did not give him a full pardon.

If you use the Marc Rich everyone should be freed.

OleDirtyBarrister | April 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

I believe that someone in the White House has been reading my posts, such as the one yesterday in the thread on the double standard regarding the attorney-client privilege.

Trump proving he has the guts to do what feckless GWB lacked.

Libby was convicted by the US government based upon the recollection* of a FBI agent of what a dead man said. No other proof required, FBI agents can make up anything.

*otherwise known as damned lies.

This seems like a very aggressive move. To my recollection Presidents usually wait until the ends of their terms for the high-profile pardons.

It is about time he was pardoned. The failure of Bush 43 to do so has always bothered me.

I think Bush didn’t because at that point he and Dick were no longer best buds, he didn’t do it to show some inappropriate cojones , which he should have earlier, by not being dragged into Iraq.

    MarkSmith in reply to gonzotx. | April 13, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I have a hellva lot more respect for Chaney and Rumfeld than Bush. Knowing what his father did using his CIA connections to smear Perot’s daughter. What Clinton did is just the same scheme team stuff Bush Sr. was doing. I would not be surprised that Clinton had Bush’s help because Jeb lost so bad.

    “Cheney emerges as surprise Trump surrogate”

    “Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended his endorsement of GOP nominee Donald Trump”

      AmandaFitz in reply to MarkSmith. | April 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      The Bush family is a lot like Comey and Mueller- arrogant, self-righteous and overflowing with noblesse oblige. They had only veiled contempt for Ronald Reagan and for the ordinary peasants. George 41 was a good man, but his patrician roots overtook him.

    Mac45 in reply to gonzotx. | April 13, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    The 2003 invasion of Iraq was strategically necessary for the US.

    Hussein had been thumbing his nose at the cease fire agreement for years. He was getting rich in the oil for food scandal. He was actively attacking US aicraft patrolling the no-fly zone. he had kicked the weapons inspectors out, again. So, the invasion had two purposes. The first was to remove Hussein, for obvious reasons. The second was to establish a large military presence right next door to Iran. And unintended benefit was to draw virtually every radical Islamist to Iraq where the US military killed them. And, the whole thing was totally justified by the fact that Gulf War I had never ended, there was only a cease fire established.

    What went wrong was the rush to “nation building”, under Bush, and the total withdrawal of US troops, under Obama. We have seen how that turned out.

      Agreed. I find it interesting that the same people calling for denuclearization of Iraq in 2017 appear to have no problem with Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. It’s insane. Nobody disputes that Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons, they just make the excuse that he was “years away” from developing them or that the “sanctions are working.”

      Sorry, no. Hussein was finding willing state participants to assist in ignoring the sanctions, and the coalition was losing its resolve against this tyrant.

This just proves President Bush was a feckless smock.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | April 13, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Yes! Very very very good!

This will drive the Communist Democrat Progressives even more insane!


One more wrong righted by Trump.

“Knowing what his father did using his CIA connections to smear Perot’s daughter.”


    Milhouse in reply to davod. | April 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    And what CIA connections? Just because he was director for about 5 minutes didn’t give him an in with the agency. The CIA has always been a Democrat shop, and has never done favors for any Republican, including Bush.

Paul In Sweden | April 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Long overdue. That was the right thing to do. So happy about this.

Didn’t Libby also have to pay a huge fine? Can he get the money back?