Trump Pardons Ex-Cheney Aide Who Lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation

Scooter Libby Aside, Presidential Pardons Are Good and Trump Should Issue Even More of Them

Lewis "Scooter" Libby is a former top aide in the George W. Bush administration, serving as chief of staff to then-Vice President Dick Cheney. David Andrews plays Scooter Libby in the film.

Libby was convicted in 2007 of two counts of lying about discussions with reporters, one count of obstruction of justice and a fourth count of making a false statement.

Trump, of course, also believes he's being treated unfairly by law enforcement. Libby was prosecuted for lying to the FBI and for obstruction of justice in an investigation into who leaked the identity of covert Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison, but former President George W. Bush commuted that sentence, stopping short of giving him a full-fledged pardon.

The affair dates back to July 2003 when the name of Central Intelligence Agency agent Valerie Plame, the wife of a diplomat who had accused the Bush administration of exaggerating the threat posed by Iraq, was leaked to the press.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said on Twitter that it "seems like [Trump's] sending a message to current WH staff anxious about investigation of Trump obstruction: 'Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'".

People loyal to Libby have recently come into Trump's inner circle, including former Bush administration official John Bolton, who now serves as Trump's national security adviser.

The pardon was the third for Mr Trump.

Libby was prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald, a longtime career prosecutor, appointed to investigate the leak of the Central Intelligence Agency officer's identity by then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey.

Bush later revealed that Cheney was angry at his decision not to formally pardon Libby, with Cheney saying his chief of staff "deserved a presidential pardon". Comey later became head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but was sacked by Trump, and has since written a book highly critical of the president.

Libby's allies have claimed he was the victim of an overzealous special counsel, and have said his statements reflected differences in memory between himself and other witnesses, not an intent to lie.

The Libby case has been criticised by conservatives, who argue he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel.

In a statement later, Plame said Trump's comments were not based on the truth, noting that a jury heard the evidence and convicted him, and even Bush refused to pardon him. Most notably, he pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff whose crackdown on immigrants in the US illegally, resulted in a conviction for criminal contempt.

"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". Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life'.

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