Is There A Deeper Reason Behind Trump's Pardon Of Scooter Libby?

Saul Loeb  AFP via Getty Images

Saul Loeb AFP via Getty Images

The pardon wasn't about Libby, and it was in Trump's interest not to disguise this reality.

The White House announced Friday afternoon that Trump had pardoned Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff who was convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2007. Some argued that, as Hamilton put it, “the supposition of the connivance of the Chief Magistrate ought not to be entirely excluded.” In the end, though, they made a decision to give, even for treason, the pardon power to the president alone. Late Thursday, the Associated Press had published a primer that revealed just how caustic the book's criticism of the president would be, relaying Comey's assessment that Trump was unethical and "untethered to truth". No one, however, was charged for the leak.

It turns out, moreover, that Mr. Cheney was wrongly convicted.

The thing is, Mr. Trump is unlikely to be able to use his pardon power to get out of his legal jam.

"Today, President Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) to I".

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Cheney lobbied Bush aggressively for a pardon for Libby, and Bush's refusal was said to have caused a strain in the relationship between the two men.

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". She said the president called her midday Friday to deliver the news.

Libby's attorneys, Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, issued a statement thanking Mr Trump for "addressing a gross injustice" they said was inflicted by Mr Fitzgerald and Mr Comey.

Ms Plame said a pardon would send a message "that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned". Paul Krugman denounced his "deadly narcissism" in the New York Times, by which he means that Trump values his own opinion more than that of Krugman. In addition to racial profiling, Arpaio was long criticized for what many in the community decried as inhumane prisons in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. War critics were outraged and demanded that a special prosecutor investigate the leak.

Not long after, Joe Wilson's wife, an undercover Central Intelligence Agency operative named Valerie Plame, had her name leaked to the press - completely blowing her cover (and thus basically her entire career) and potentially putting her and her sources in danger. Libby had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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