The Washington Post broke the news earlier Friday that Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Chief-of-Staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, has been pardoned by President Trump.
Libby was convicted of perjury, lying to investigators and obstruction of justice in 2007 for his role in disclosing the work of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.
For the crimes, Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. His sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush later that year. Although Cheney lobbied vigorously for his pardon, Libby was left to serve two years probation and still faced a fine.
Libby, a Yale University and Columbia Law School-educated attorney, was disbarred in 2008 and wasn’t cleared to practice law again until 2016 — shortly after former New York Times reporter Judith Miller revealed testimony she gave to help convict Libby had been false.
While Mr. Libby has consistently maintained that he is innocent of all charges, responses to the pardon have been mixed.
Of course, the news was well-received by Libby and his legal team. According to his attorney, Victoria Toensing, President Trump said in a phone call, “He was a good guy who got screwed. The facts are compelling.” Of Libby, she said, “he was thrilled.”
However, the husband of CIA agent Plame-Wilson, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had this to say to HuffPost;
“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. Now he’s being pardoned for it, which suggests of course that Mr. Trump is willing to allow people to violate the essence of our defense structure, our national security, our intelligence apparatus and essentially get away with it.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence tweeted:
On the day the President wrongly attacks Comey for being a “leaker and liar” he considers pardoning a convicted leaker and liar, Scooter Libby. This is the President’s way of sending a message to those implicated in the Russia investigation: You have my back and I‘ll have yours.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 13, 2018
Libby’s former boss, Dick Cheney issued the following statement:
Dick Cheney issues a statement saying he's grateful that Trump pardoned Libby: “Scooter Libby is one of the most capable, principled, and honorable men I have ever known. He is innocent, and he and his family have suffered for years because of his wrongful conviction."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 13, 2018
Despite the effects of the conviction, the 67-year-old Libby has had a long and successful career and currently serves as Senior Vice President at Hudson Institute, a think-tank where he specializes in national security and defense.
[Wall Street Journal] [NBC News] [Photo courtesy ABC News]