Trump pardons ex-Cheney aide over Central Intelligence Agency name leak

Trump pardons ex-Cheney aide over Central Intelligence Agency name leak

Kerry Wise
April 14, 2018

During his eight years in the White House, Bush granted 189 pardons, although he did not pardon Libby, drawing criticisms from Cheney.

As CNN reports, the White House made Trump's pardon of Libby official midday on Friday, less than 24 hours rumors began to swirl that the president was considering such a move.

Libby had been convicted in 2007 of perjury and obstruction of justice related to the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity, which came after her husband, a former ambassador, published an op-ed critical of the Bush administration.

The future-FBI director appointed Patrick Fitzgerald, a US attorney from Chicago, as special counsel.

Comey went on to become Federal Bureau of Investigation director and was sacked by Trump, a move that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller, another former Federal Bureau of Investigation director whom Trump nearly daily accuses of conducting a "witch hunt".

Sanders beat back questions that Trump's pardon was sending a message to those witnesses who might by cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

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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", Trump is quoted as saying in the statement. Cheney expressed her gratitude to Trump for the pardon. But critics noted the timing, coming as Trump fumes over Robert Mueller's probe, which he has dubbed a "witch hunt". He had been disbarred but was reinstated by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 2016.

To the Never-Trumpers who think that our president is a lout and a ruffian who cares nothing for decent standards of behavior, I say: What you call "decent standards of behavior" have become so perverse, so cowardly, so hypocritical and so self-serving that only an outsider, a "lout", a "ruffian" with contempt for your standards will have the courage to do the right thing.

Trump's pardon has been under consideration for several months, two people familiar with the president's thinking said. As Arthur Herman wrote in Commentary, an overzealous special prosecutor framed Libby, a dedicated public servant (and a friend of this writer). Two lawyers associated with Libby, Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, recently considered joining Trump's legal team before declining because of potential conflicts.

Here are five things you probably don't know about the former top aide in Washington. It's absolutely not about Scooter Libby.

Trump's ambiguous statement on the pardon adds fuel to the fire regarding speculation that the pardon means something deeper.

Conservatives have long championed Libby's cause, but Bush, while commuting Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence, thus saving him from prison, refused to pardon him. Most notably, he pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff whose crackdown on immigrants in the USA illegally, resulted in a conviction for criminal contempt.