Jul 02 2007
Apparently from all the hits my site is getting and an alert at DrudgeReport it seems President Bush has commuted Scooter Libby’s jail sentence in the lame Plame Game.
President Bush commuted the sentence of former aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case. Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, according to a senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced.
This is what I backed as the proper solution a while ago. Libby was tried by an abusive prosecutor out for fame and name who knew Libby had nothing to do with the exposure of Valerie Plame’s identity to the media, but all the same caught Libby in misrecollections of events.
One misrecollection, with Tim Russert, was where Libby recalled DISCUSSING Plame with Russert, but Russert and Fitzgerald claimed this NON-EXPOSURE of Plame’s identity was perjury in covering up for other times Libby also did not expose Plame’s identity. Only in the warped world of DC can someone be tried for perjury for wrongfully admitting to have had the conversation which would be a crime and the prosecutor claiming no such discussion happened.
And for these non-events Fitzgerald convinced a judge, in dire need of a lesson in the law, to sentence Libby to the crime he was not convicted of! Bush is right to let this whacked out judgement stand (because it is a product of our courts, just like the OJ verdict) and simply apply some justice to the sentence. Good decision on the President’s part. At least he did not do what Clinton did which was pardon drug dealers and tax evaders.
And thus ends another chapter in the lame Plame game. Next up, the Wilson’s go to civil court where all their efforts to plant a political story in the DC press to help Kerry’s Presidential aspirations come out.
Update: Bush’s statement on the commutation:
From the very beginning of the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name, I made it clear to the White House staff and anyone serving in my administration that I expected full cooperation with the Justice Department. Dozens of White House staff and administration officials dutifully cooperated.
Critics of the investigation have argued that a special counsel should not have been appointed, nor should the investigation have been pursued after the Justice Department learned who leaked Ms. Plame’s name to columnist Robert Novak. Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation. Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.
Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.
In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation.
I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.
My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.
The far right might howl in rage because Bush will not do “a Clinton” and just wipe the slate clean, but Bush has proven to be above partisanship and an American first. Good decision and a well expressed rationale for the decision.
Update: I said the far right would not be satisfied and they are beginning to moan. They far right has showed its impatient, bow-to-us-alone, side so much they do not feel the need to hide their arrogance any longer. Don’t forget, this Plame mess was all Bush’s fault!