WH on Scooter Libby Pardon: 'The Right Thing to Do'

15 April, 2018, 05:32 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Mary Altaffer  AP FILE

Last year, Trump pardoned Arizona ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of violating a court order to halt traffic patrols targeting suspected unauthorized immigrants.

The ink on the pardon was barely dry, however, when critics began saying that President Trump had pardoned Libby to signal to those facing charges in Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe that he will pardon them, too, if they are convicted.

Trump said he pardoned Libby, whom he doesn't know, because "he has been treated unfairly"-a claim Plame shredded as completely false".

Mr. Trump explained his full pardon by saying he has heard for years "that he has been treated unfairly". "Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life". During that time, he appointed a special counsel to prosecute a high-profile case that led to Libby's guilty verdict in 2007.

Comey, who was appointed FBI Director by Obama in 2013, was sacked by Trump in May 2017 amid a probe into the NY billionaire's ties to Russian Federation.

Four months after Libby's conviction, President George W. Bush commuted the 30-month sentence but would not grant a pardon, despite requests from Cheney. The new sentence still required Libby to complete a two-year probation, pay $250,000 fine, and perform 400 hours of community service. He writes that Robert Muellers probe has just taken “a Ken Starr turn with its lurch, via the Southern District of NY, into the Stormy Daniels affair.” Its not Mr. Muellers character to which Mr. Lowry objects, as we read him, but the temptations that come with any special prosecutors special power. He then emailed Libby, whose reaction was not to celebrate to soon, Jeffress said. Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell also restored Libby's voting rights.

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Trump has spent the past week enraged at the special counsel and the ever-growing web of associates who have become entangled in the investigation. "But it's been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House and it's run its course and now we're going to move on", Bush said in 2007.

Not long after, Joe Wilson's wife, an undercover Central Intelligence Agency operative named Valerie Plame, had her name leaked to the press - completely blowing her cover (and thus basically her entire career) and potentially putting her and her sources in danger.

Trump's pardon of Libby comes out of the blue.

"While the president has the constitutional power to pardon, the decision to do so in this case purports to be premised on the notion that Libby was an innocent man convicted on the basis of inaccurate testimony caused by the prosecution". His anger was reinforced by excerpts from Comey's book, which paint the President as unethical. And the other, I think, this is a secondary but meaningful audience in Director Comey.

Although never having met Libby, Trump knows his story and apparently feels for the guy. White House aides said earlier this week that Trump was fuming over FBI raids related to the investigation on Monday of the office and home of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

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