Trump Pardons Scooter Libby, Sending Signal To Witnesses In Special Counsel Probe

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President Donald Trump pardoned Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Friday, a former Bush administration official who was convicted of perjury in 2007, in a move some see as a vengeful retaliation for former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's unflattering new book.

Trump spent the morning raving that Comey is a "proven LEAKER and LIAR" who "virtually everyone in Washington thought should be fired"-an apt description of Scooter Libby". By pardoning Mr. Libby, Mr. Trump sends a message to those who might incriminate him in crimes related to conspiring with Russians to tamper with the election: The message is that he will rectify any sadness that protecting a president might cause. "Scooter" Lewis Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, for convictions stemming from a 2007 trial.

Libby was convicted by a jury in 2007 of perjury, obstructing justice and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he lied about leaking Plame's identity. Another twist is that the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, was appointed by James Comey, deputy attorney general at the time.

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

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Trump said that although he did not know Libby personally, he had always heard the former Cheney aid was "treated unfairly".

Bush later commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence, but did not pardon him despite intense pressure from Cheney. Three years later, he was cleared to practice law again after the District of Columbia Court of Appeals reinstated him to the D.C. Bar. The pardon comes at a moment when the president faces an escalating special counsel investigation of his own.

John Dowd, a former Trump lawyer, floated pardons to former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, The Post has reported.

Before Libby's pardon, today, Plame questioned Mr. Trump's motivations.

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"Suffice to say, he's thrilled", she said of Libby, who she said had just gotten out of an MRI. Even more significantly, he said, a Central Intelligence Agency damage assessment of the leak had produced "no evidence" that her outing had harmed any Central Intelligence Agency operation, any agent in the field, or "anyone else, including Plame herself". "Mr. Trump has repeatedly complained that the special counsel investigation into possible cooperation between his campaign and Russian Federation in 2016 has gone too far and amounts to an unfair "witch hunt," The New York Times said.

"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".

Trump has rarely used his presidential power to pardon, but last August granted clemency to Joe Arpaio, a controversial Arizona sheriff who had been a longtime Trump ally and campaign-trail companion. Mr. Libby, prosecutors said, lied about where he learned of her identity and what he discussed with reporters.

"In light of these facts, the President believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon".

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