U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to pardon former George W. Bush administration official Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted of lying in an investigation of the unmasking of a Central Intelligence Agency agent, a source said on Friday, in a step that would underscore Trump's willingness to grant pardons in high-profile cases.
President Donald Trump is poised to pardon Scooter J. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, according to sources familiar with the president's thinking.
The origins of the incident lay in arguments around the build-up to the Iraq war.
The saga that led up to Libby's conviction began in 2003 when Joseph Wilson, a former diplomat, wrote a New York Times op-ed column, contending that Cheney had deliberately ignored evidence showing that Iraq was not seeking to acquire material needed to build nuclear weapons. Libby was never charged with leaking Plame's name to the press.
After his conviction and prior to his sentencing, Libby had garnered an array of letters to the judge supporting a light sentence notable for the prevalence of leading Jewish figures.
In pardoning Libby, the White House cited Miller's disavowal of her testimony, and the fact that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals reinstated his license to practice law in 2016.
Before Bush won the presidency, Libby represented billionaire trader Marc Rich, who was pardoned on the last day President Clinton was in office.
Libby told a grand jury he only learned of Plame's secret from what he had heard in conversations with reporters, but the special prosecutor maintained that Libby was at "the beginning" of the chain, not the end, ABC News reported at the time. "He was indicted, tried and convicted on obstruction of justice and perjury charges for basically violating the national security of the United States of America". The most important statement, which appears in brackets, reads "wife works in Bureau?"
"Legally, there's nothing wrong with pardons that the president just decides themselves", Brian C. Kalt, a professor at Michigan State University School of Law, said in a statement. I wonder who else might be a victim of a special prosecutor run amok? A pardon does not signify innocence but does eliminate many consequences of a conviction, such as any effect on the right to vote, hold elective office or sit on a jury.
The Libby case has some parallels with the current wide-ranging investigation into Trump associates - and even some of the players are the same. "Scooter" Lewis Libby is likely to reverberate through Washington, coming as Mr. Trump complains about an overzealous investigation against him.
Armitage insisted the revelation was inadvertent and was not made with malicious intent, though Novak disputed this characterization.
"Coincidence?" Kyle Swenson asks In his Morning Mix column for the Washington Post. Woodward testified as a defense witness during Libby's criminal trial. "Pardons tend to be for the repentant. not for those who think the system was politicized or they were unfairly targeted".
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