Monday, 15 October, 2018

Trump expected to pardon ex-Cheney aide 'Scooter' Libby

Mary Altaffer  AP FILE Mary Altaffer AP FILE
Chelsea Rogers | 14 April, 2018, 22:16

President Trump waited a little longer, but in pardoning the former chief of staff to Dick Cheney on Friday Mr. Trump rectified a legal injustice and corrected one of George W. Bush's worst decisions.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, at a briefing with reporters, said the pardon had absolutely nothing to do with with rsquo & Trump;s views about Mueller's evaluation. "Scooter" Lewis Libby is likely to reverberate through Washington, coming as Mr. Trump complains about an overzealous investigation against him.

Libby was found responsible in 2007 of lying and obstructing an investigation into who blew the cover of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame.

In a statement released after the pardon, Toensing called out Comey, who was deputy attorney general during Libby's case and appointed Fitzgerald as special prosecutor to investigate the matter. He served as FBI Director from 2013-2017 when he was sacked by Trump.

There's a case for pardoning Libby, but Trump wasn't interested in making it.

"I don't know Mr. Libby", Trump said in a statement, "but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly". Hopefully, this full pardon may definitely help a part of his entire life. President George W. Bush commuted the prison sentence, but granted no pardon. 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. He had been disbarred but was reinstated by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 2016.

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Trump has also made clear that he thinks Mueller's investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation is unfair. A federal pardon would simply move their prosecution beyond Mr. Trump's control. Many believe that Libby took a fall to protect his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney. “This is the Presidents way of sending a message to those implicated in the Russian Federation investigation: You have my back and I‘ll have yours, ” the Washington Post quoted Congressman Adam Schiff tweeting.

"On the day the President wrongly attacks Comey for being a "leaker and liar" he considers pardoning a convicted leaker and liar, Scooter Libby", Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter.

Trump used his pardon authority past year when he pardoned Joe Arpaio, a controversial sheriff in Arizona who had been convicted of criminal contempt related to his hard-line tactics going after undocumented immigrants.

"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".

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.

In summation to the jury, notes the Journal, Mr. Fitzgerald had called Ms. Millers testimony “critical.” Ms. Miller, the Journal adds, “says that the prosecutor twice told her lawyer that he would drop all charges against Mr. Libby if he offered evidence against Mr. Cheney.

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