Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

President Trump Pardons Scooter Libby, Former Aide To Vice President Dick Cheney

President Trump Pardons Scooter Libby, Former Aide To Vice President Dick Cheney

"Today, President Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) to I". Trump, by this Libby pardon, is proving once more in a growing list of actions that he's committing obstruction of justice, which I'm pretty sure comes under the heading of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors".

Libby was convicted of making false statements, perjury and obstruction of justice in the 2007 investigation of Plame, a former covert Central Intelligence Agency agent and the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson IV. The White House had not been in contact with Libby's primary trial lawyer, who learned about the potential pardon Thursday night from media reports. He said, in essence, that he doesn't know Libby, but heard he got a raw deal.

Thirteen years ago, as a New York Times reporter, I went to jail to protect the identity of my news sources, and one source in particular- "Scooter" Libby. "Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life". The disgraced staffer still served two years probation and was hit with a $250,000 fine.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted the pardon was not meant to send a message to the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying, "One thing has nothing to do with the other".

It's unclear whether Trump is sending a message or not to individuals involved in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Asked if a pardon would be about Mr Comey, Ms Conway said no. At a press conference after Libby's conviction, Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor whom his friend, then Deputy Attorney General James Comey, had appointed, called my testimony crucial to the verdict. In August 2017, in the aftermath of an intensified Mueller probe, the Charlottesville violence, and executive branch shake-ups including the departure of Steve Bannon, Trump abruptly pardoned Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, a brutal xenophobe who was convicted of racial profiling and who held Latinos captive in torturous conditions.

In a statement, Libby thanked Trump, saying his family has "suffered under the weight of a bad injustice". Mr. Libby, also disbarred, was forced to wait more than a decade for justice to prevail. A federal pardon would simply move their prosecution beyond Mr. Trump's control.

So why would I be pleased with Libby's pardon?

Speaking to Wolf Blitzer in 2007, Trump bemoaned Libby's predicament. And the other, I think, this is a secondary but meaningful audience in Director Comey. "I think he probably will, because otherwise he's going to see some disgusting books written by Scooter Libby".

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'". He hasn't gone through the pardon office. He granted one a year ago to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court.

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