Trump Pardons Former Cheney Chief of Staff Scooter Libby

By Melanie Arter | April 13, 2018 | 2:46 PM EDT


( - President Donald Trump issued a full pardon of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, who was convicted of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice in the probe into who disclosed the identity of former covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Former President George W. Bush had already commuted Libby’s sentence shortly after he was convicted in 2007. Libby had paid a $250 million fine, served two years probation, and did community service.

Trump said while he doesn’t know Libby, “for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.”

“Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life,” the president said.

When asked whether the president has sending some sort of signal to the Mueller investigation by pardoning Libby, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Not at all. One thing has nothing to do with the other, and every case should be reviewed on their own merits.”

“Pardoning Libby was the right thing to do, after the principal witness recanted her testimony. The D.C. Court of Appeals panel unanimously voted to restore Mr. Libby's bar membership after being presented credible evidence in support of his version of events. And it appears that that key prosecution witness, Judith Miller, changed her recollection of the events in question.

When asked what convinced the president to pardon Libby, Sanders said, “The president thought it was the right thing to do.”

“In 2015, one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said,” the White House said in a statement.

“The next year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law. The Court agreed with the District of Columbia Disciplinary Counsel, who stated that Mr. Libby had presented ‘credible evidence’ in support of his innocence, including evidence that a key prosecution witness had “changed her recollection of the events in question,” the statement said.

The White House said that prior to Libby’s conviction, he “rendered more than a decade of honorable service” as a public servant to the State Department, DoD, and the White House.

“His record since his conviction is similarly unblemished, and he continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers,” the White House said. “In light of these facts, the President believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon.”


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