Pres. Trump pardons Scooter Libby

Pres. Trump pardons Scooter Libby

Pres. Trump pardons Scooter Libby

On April 7, 2015, these columns said the next Republican President should pardon I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby "in his first week in office".

President Donald Trump participates in a meeting on trade with governors and members of Congress at the White House on April 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. He came under investigation in 2003, after speculation that he leaked the identity of a secret Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame, to newspaper reporters.

Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000, but his sentence was commuted by then-President George W. Bush.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway earlier Friday said, "Many people think that Scooter Libby was the victim of a special counsel gone amok".

Libby's conviction came after a four-year investigation by a special prosecutor into how the name of Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame was leaked to reporters in 2003. But critics noted the timing, coming as Trump fumes over Robert Mueller's probe, which he has dubbed a "witch hunt".

Plame appeared on MSNBC Friday morning, saying a pardon would send a message "that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned". After the pardon, she said in a statement that the argument that Libby had been treated unfairly was "simply false".

While Trump has had no relationship or expressed interest in Libby's case to date, conservatives have long regarded the prosecution as an example of a special counsel overstepping its original mandate.

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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.

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

Libby's trouble began with the drumbeat leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

On July 14, syndicated columnist Robert Novak wrote a column outing Wilson's wife as a Central Intelligence Agency "operative". "He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted". Cheney was angered by Bush's decision, telling the president that he had left a soldier on the battlefield in the wake of the partisan investigation of the leak of Central Intelligence Agency operative Valarie Plame's name publicly to the media.

Ms. Miller's new memoir recounts that after her conditions had been met and Mr. Fitzgerald asked the court to release her from jail in September 2005, she was summoned to testify before the grand jury.

Fitzgerald knew all along that someone else, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, had leaked Plame's name. Manafort has since been charged with more than a dozen offenses, while Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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