By pardoning Libby, Trump sends a message

By pardoning Libby, Trump sends a message

U.S. President Donald Trump, has issued a pardon to former Dick Cheney vice presidential aide Scooter Libby, who was convicted of obstruction of justice and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2007, the White House said. In 2018, President Trump's pardon did just that-providing full legal forgiveness for Libby's crime and restore all of his civil rights.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, on Friday.

Libby was convicted by a jury in 2007 of perjury, obstructing justice and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he lied about leaking Plame's identity. In a twist, the special counsel in Libby's case, Patrick Fitzgerald, was appointed by James Comey, deputy attorney general at the time.

Trump released a statement through the White House that he did not personally know Libby but that the man had been treated unfairly. "Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life". Bush commuted Libby's 30-month sentence but did not pardon him.

In a statement explaining Trump's action, the White House noted that in 2015, one of the key witnesses against Libby had recanted her testimony, among other factors. Moreover, Libby has never apologized for his acts and continues to proclaim his innocence, not the usual conduct of someone who receives a presidential pardon. The next year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law. The pardon comes at a moment when the president faces an escalating special counsel investigation of his own. But then Trump -who falsely claims to have opposed the Iraq war - scarcely needed any such persuasion to issue the pardon, which plainly has little to do with this "liar and leaker" or his supposed virtues.

If Ms. Miller had testified accurately, she would have dealt a severe blow to Mr. Fitzgerald's central contention that Mr. Libby was lying when he said he was surprised to hear Russert mention Ms. Plame. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, "This pardon sends a troubling signal to the president's allies that obstructing justice will be rewarded". Many believe that Libby took a fall to protect his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney.

Libby's attorneys, Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, issued a statement thanking Trump for "addressing a gross injustice" they said was inflicted by Fitzgerald and Comey. He granted one previous year to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court.

Libby said that others had told him that they would not go into public service after seeing how he was treated because of his government role.

The president has regularly blasted the whole Russian Federation investigation as invasive and "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

NPR political reporter Jessica Taylor contributed.

Related Articles