10:37 PM

Scooter Libby Pardoned

Posted by Skye |


The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today rejected Lewis Libby's request to remain free on bail while pursuing his appeals for the serious convictions of perjury and obstruction of justice. As a result, Mr. Libby will be required to turn himself over to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.

I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment or intervene in this case until Mr. Libby's appeals have been exhausted. But with the denial of bail being upheld and incarceration imminent, I believe it is now important to react to that decision.

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.

After the investigation was under way, the Justice Department appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald as a Special Counsel in charge of the case. Mr. Fitzgerald is a highly qualified, professional prosecutor who carried out his responsibilities as charged.

This case has generated significant commentary and debate. 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.

Both critics and defenders of this investigation have made important points. I have made my own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I am announcing today, I have carefully weighed these arguments and the circumstances surrounding this case.

Mr. Libby was sentenced to thirty months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine. 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 Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby's case is an appropriate exercise of this power.

The mainstream Democrats at DU respond:

Edited on Mon Jul-02-07 06:05 PM by autorank

Any Democrat who opposes impeachment after this should be recalled.
This is the beginning of the end of something, don't quite know what but things are going to explode in our corner of the world and, as we who follow public opinion know, DU is pretty mainstream (at least on elections and voting rights issues, Iraq, the environment).

This will be one of the most intense and productive periods in American history. We have three tracks of ultimate truth going:

1) The world is dying - according to mainstream science. We're screwed unless we act in the next few years and then we're still screwed to an extent.

2) We're monsters to each other and allow each other to suffer vis a vis our health care system - Sicko is an indisputable argument proving that.

3) NO ONE can now deny this - Bush is utterly corrupt. Those 26% who still support him will dwindle by 20-30% so it will be only the 18% or so who always support the lunatic right (it was about 14% way back who continued to support McCarthy after he was disgraced thoroughly).

On edit: Not worth the effort to recall them. They just need to be scared into doing the right thing.

dicknbush Mon Jul-02-07 07:09 PM Response to Original message 233. HYE PELOSI...YOU BETTER PUT IMPEACHMENT BACK ON THE TABLE!


ProudDad Mon Jul-02-07 07:36 PM
Response to Original message 275. Cute he does this on July 2

so it can sink into the news hole under all of the patriotic BULLSHIT that's going to flood the MSM for the next 2 days.

Throwing Stones Mon Jul-02-07 07:36 PM
Response to Original message 277. FUCK THE FUCKING FUCKERS!

that is all.

kramer Mon Jul-02-07 09:59 PM
Response to Original message 378. I have a workable solution -

Every democrat or progressive in the country let's start it today - refuse to go to the mall shopping until Bush takes back his order.

Absolutely no new purchases!

Watch the economy and the stock market going down.

It will work in just a few months.

Everybody, do you hear me?

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