Trump pardons Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice in CIA leak case

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SueEllenRules!, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. SueEllenRules!

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    Trump Pardons Scooter Libby for Perjury in C.I.A. Leak Case

    WASHINGTON — President Trump pardoned I. Lewis Libby Jr. on Friday, offering official forgiveness for his convictions on perjury and obstruction of justice charges stemming from the C.I.A. leak case during the administration of President George W. Bush.

    “I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Mr. Trump said in a statement, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.”

    Mr. Libby’s case has long been a cause for conservatives who maintained that he was a victim of a special prosecutor run amok, an argument that may have resonated with the president. Mr. Trump has repeatedly complained that the special counsel investigation into possible cooperation between his campaign and Russia in 2016 has gone too far and amounts to an unfair “witch hunt.”

    Mr. Libby, who goes by Scooter, was convicted of four felonies in 2007 for perjury before a grand jury, lying to F.B.I. investigators and obstruction of justice during an investigation into the disclosure of the work of Valerie Plame Wilson, a C.I.A. officer. Mr. Bush commuted Mr. Libby’s 30-month prison sentence but refused to grant him a full pardon despite the strenuous requests of Vice President Dick Cheney, whom Mr. Libby served as chief of staff. The decision soured the relationship between Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.

    The pardon of Mr. Libby paradoxically puts Mr. Trump in the position of absolving one of the chief architects of the Iraq war, which Mr. Trump has denounced as a catastrophic miscalculation. It also means he has forgiven a former official who was convicted in a case involving leaks despite Mr. Trump’s repeated inveighing against those who disclose information to reporters.

    After word of Mr. Trump’s plan to issue the pardon emerged on Thursday night, critics of the president quickly interpreted the move as a signal by the president that he would protect those who refuse to turn on their bosses, as Mr. Libby was presumed not to have betrayed Mr. Cheney. Mr. Trump has not ruled out pardons in the Russia investigation.

    Mr. Trump had shown no particular interest in Mr. Libby’s case before. In 2015, during his campaign for the White House, Mr. Trump was asked if he would pardon Mr. Libby and declined to say, calling it an irrelevant issue. It was unclear when Mr. Trump would issue the pardon, which was first reported by ABC News.

    Mr. Libby was not charged with the leak itself and has long argued that his conviction rested on an innocent difference in memories between him and several witnesses, not an intent to deceive investigators. Although Mr. Bush’s clemency order kept him from going to prison, Mr. Libby’s conviction nonetheless remained intact and he was disbarred as a lawyer as a result. He was not reinstated to the bar until 2016.

    Among the allies from the Bush administration who have argued that he was treated unfairly is John R. Bolton, an ally of Mr. Cheney’s who served as Mr. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations and started this week as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. Other allies of Mr. Libby’s include Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a husband-and-wife team of lawyers who recently talked about going to work for Mr. Trump before deciding against it because of a client conflict.

    The pardon amounts to official forgiveness, not exoneration. A pardon does not signify innocence but does eliminate many consequences of a conviction, such as any effect on the right to vote, hold elective office or sit on a jury. As a practical matter, those seeking pardons hope it will erase or ease the stigma of a criminal conviction.

    Mr. Libby’s prosecution became a symbol of the polarizing politics of the Iraq war during the Bush administration. Ms. Wilson’s husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, was a former diplomat who wrote an op-ed article in The New York Times in 2003 implying that Mr. Cheney ignored evidence that argued against the conclusion that Iraq was actively seeking to build nuclear weapons.

    To undercut Mr. Wilson’s criticism, administration officials told reporters that he had been sent on a fact-finding mission to Niger because his wife worked for the C.I.A., not at the behest of Mr. Cheney. But federal law bars the disclosure of the identities of C.I.A. officials in certain circumstances and the leak prompted a special prosecutor investigation.

    Charged with lying to investigators about his interactions with journalists, Mr. Libby insisted he simply remembered events differently. But his version of events clashed with the testimony of eight other people, including fellow administration officials, and a jury convicted him. Mr. Bush decided that the prison sentence was “excessive,” but he said he would not substitute his judgment for that of the jury when it came to the question of Mr. Libby’s guilt.

    Mr. Libby’s advocates argued that Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, went too far because he had already discovered that the first administration official to disclose Ms. Wilson’s identity to a journalist was Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state in Mr. Bush’s first term, who was not charged. They also argued that Ms. Wilson was not undercover at the time and her employment was well known. Ms. Wilson has denied that she recommended her husband for the mission to Niger and said her career as a C.I.A. official was “over in an instant” once her identity was leaked.

    The case tested the limits of journalistic independence. Judith Miller, then a reporter for The Times, went to prison for 85 days rather than disclose that Mr. Libby had discussed Ms. Wilson with her. She was freed after Mr. Libby released her from any promise of confidentiality.

    The issue became a major point of contention between Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney in the last days of the administration in late 2008 and early 2009. Mr. Cheney repeatedly pressed Mr. Bush to go beyond his commutation and issue a full pardon, bringing it up so often that the president grew irritated by the matter.

    Mr. Bush assigned White House lawyers to examine the case, but they advised him the jury had ample reason to convict Mr. Libby and the president rebuffed Mr. Cheney’s request. Mr. Bush told aides that he suspected that Mr. Libby had thought he was protecting Mr. Cheney, the real target of the investigation.

    Mr. Cheney snapped at Mr. Bush. “You are leaving a good man wounded on the field of battle,” he told him when informed of the decision.

    Mr. Bush was taken aback. It was probably the harshest thing Mr. Cheney ever said to him during their eight years in office together and was meant to attack Mr. Bush’s sense of loyalty to his own troops in a time of war.

    “The comment stung,” Mr. Bush wrote in his memoir. “In eight years, I had never seen Dick like this, or even close to it. I worried that the friendship we had built was about to be severely strained, at best.”

    The case has its connections to Mr. Trump because Mr. Fitzgerald was friends with James B. Comey, who was then the deputy attorney general who assigned him the investigation after the attorney general recused himself. Mr. Cheney long suspected that Mr. Comey was taking revenge for a dispute between them over the legality of a surveillance program.

    Mr. Comey would go on to become the director of the F.B.I. who was fired by Mr. Trump last year in the midst of the Russia investigation. His dismissal led the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who was in charge after the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to appoint Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to take over the inquiry.

    Mr. Trump has been notably conservative about using his clemency power. Before Friday, he had issued only two pardons and commuted only one sentence in nearly 15 months in office, according to the Justice Department. Most notably he pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff whose crackdown on illegal immigrants earned him a criminal contempt conviction.

    His record is roughly in keeping with the last three presidents, Barack Obama, Mr. Bush and Bill Clinton, all of whom issued no pardons or commutations in their first year and a half in office.

    Trump Pardons Scooter Libby for Perjury in C.I.A. Leak Case - The New York Times https://apple.news/A1f8ciXFYSTGqkLfa1oeQIQ
     
  2. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    Under the circumstances, this is a fair use of presidential authority. Libby has been vindicated by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. I hope he pardons the Hamburgler next.
     
  3. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Cheney on Libby Pardon: Trump has 'righted' a 'wrongful conviction'

    [​IMG]

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney praised President Trump's decision on Friday to pardon his former top aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, saying that Trump had "righted" a "wrongful conviction."

    "Scooter Libby is one of the most capable, principled, and honorable men I have ever known," Cheney said in a statement. "He is innocent, and he and his family have suffered for years because of his wrongful conviction."

    "I am grateful today that President Trump righted this wrong by issuing a full pardon to Scooter, and I am thrilled for Scooter and his family."

    Trump pardoned Cheney's former chief of staff, who was convicted in 2007 on obstruction of justice and perjury charges related to the investigation into the leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

    Libby was originally sentenced to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine. He was ultimately spared jail time after former President George W. Bush commuted his sentence.

    The fact that Bush never offered Libby a full pardon created friction between the former president and Cheney.

    Trump acknowledged in a statement on Friday that he has never met Libby, but said that he has long heard that the former Cheney aide "has been treated unfairly."

    "Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life," Trump said.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/poli...conviction/ar-AAvR2W9?ocid=spartanntp#image=1
     
  4. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Utter bullsh!t. This is paving the way for the wave of perjury/obstruction of justice pardons he's got planned for his own administration. And silly question, but don't you find it the least bit hypocritical/ironic that the dude who spent most of today b!tching about alleged leaker James Comey on the same day pardons the piece of poo who leaked the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame?

    Then why on earth would he need a presidential pardon for his felony convictions? :confuse:

    He may as well. It wouldn't be any more of a joke than any other pardon he's issued. But I don't think there's too much doubt who the direct beneficiary of the next round of pardons will be.
     
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  5. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    Imagine such an abuse of power. Never heard of another president doing that. Wake me up when he gets to 456.
     
  6. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    But you don’t care because he’s a Republican and Libby’s a Republican and scumbags stick together?

    So right and wrong doesn’t matter to you so much as tit for tat?

    Time to smell the coffee. Nixon already surpassed it with 926. As well as Obama (1927), JFK (575), Eisenhower (1157), Hoover (1385), Coolidge (1545), and Teddy Roosevelt (981), among others.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_...lemency_by_the_President_of_the_United_States
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  7. BD Calhoun

    BD Calhoun Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    SER!, when have you ever cared about right or wrong in a non-partisan way? You defend abuses of power by Democrats all the time.

    Maybe you should try "smelling the coffee," and realize it's not just Trump and the GOP who are the scumbags. Obama protected the banks and torturers for crying out loud.
     
  8. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    Trump's pardon of Libby isn't anything more than an F.U. to the investigation. His sentence had already been commuted . I already know the type BD. SER is just a complete party shill.

    I think SER is Hillary Clinton. I am sure he can account for all 456. Which there is no way he can. So, like I said. Wake me up when Trump gets to 456.
     
  9. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Well, at least you admit that it has everything to do with the investigation and nothing to do with justice.

    Yeah, but now he’s no longer a convicted felon. So it’s as if his vile act of pure retribution never even happened.

    I already know his type, too, which is why he’s on ignore like any other troll.

    Pot, meet Kettle.

    I think Mazzilli is on crack.

    Why in hell would I be required to account for anything? You certainly aren’t going to account for Scooter Libby or Joe Arpaio.

    Yes, because 2 clearly contemptible pardons aren’t nearly enough.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 2:07 AM
  10. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    You don't have to account for any of them. Why should you? Bill certainly didn't. As for Libby. I already said. It is a symbolic F.U. to the investigation. His sentence had already been commuted. Wake me up when Trump has even fifty. In the mean time, have a nice evening.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 2:21 AM
  11. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Exactly which of Bill’s pardons were granted to pave the way for getting himself out of legal jeopardy?

    Then allow me a symbolic F.U. to Trump for the criminal indictments coming his way soon if there’s any justice in the world at all.

    Yes, by George W. Bush. Even he, of all people, knew this f**ker didn’t deserve a pardon.

    I’d rather wake you up on Judgment Day. Or the day Mueller issues criminal indictments in the Executive Branch, whichever comes first.

    And you have a nice fantasy world. Enjoy it while it lasts.
     
  12. BD Calhoun

    BD Calhoun Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    What is my type? I give my opinion on policy positions, politicians, and world events. You, on the other hand, resort to ad hominem attacks.

    I've supposedly been on your ignore list for the last two months, yet you've trolled my threads giving likes to your friends and you've quoted me in your threads and signature.

    You love to tell people "pot, meet kettle," not realizing the irony that you're one of the biggest hypocrites here. I don't doubt for a minute that I'm not really on your ignore list either. The reason I started posting in your threads to begin with is because I knew you lied about putting me on ignore. You gave yourself away by liking posts made by your friends in my threads.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 6:22 AM
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  13. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    I love it. SER can't justify any of Clinton's pardons. He has absolutely no problem with any of them. Pot meet Kettle indeed. He is good at throwing insults as a diversion. Not going to work.
     
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  14. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Speaking of diversion, funny how Clinton is somehow the gold standard despite the fact that the number of pardons he issued was in line with most presidents and, in fact, far exceeded by many, including the 5 Republicans I already named.

    Compared to the 2 totally self-serving ones issued by Trump? Probably not.

    Indeed.

    Ditto.
     
  15. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    So all of President Clinton's pardons were justifiable? Or do you want to keep bringing up dead presidents? You are comparing Clinton with Nixon? Sounds about right. Again. Wake me up when Trump has at least fifty.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018 at 3:00 AM
  16. BD Calhoun

    BD Calhoun Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    People like SER! love to call their opponents trolls and misogynists for pointing out the misdeeds of the Clintons. They'll bash Trump all day long, yet they have no standards when it comes to their own side. I'm not a Trump supporter (I voted for Jill Stein), but it's hilarious to see Clinton supporters act as if the Clintons are an example of ethics and morals.
     
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  17. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    So you never get tired of your bullsh!t deflection? And attempting to use Clinton to do it? Here's an idea, Einstein: why don't YOU tell ME exactly which of Clinton's pardons were as unjust and self-serving as the two I've specified by Trump? Bring it. :NI:

    Dead presidents are somehow less culpable than live ones? :confuse: How convenient that Nixon, the King of All Crooks, gave up the ghost 20+ years ago. Who will be your scapegoat for All Things Evil when the Clintons finally bite the dust?

    There's no comparison. Nixon pardoned more than twice the number Clinton did, despite being in office just 5 and a half years to Clinton's 8. Not to mention the lovely pardon he got from Ford for his own crimes.

    Nixon and Trump sounds even righter.

    It's highly doubtful that I can wake the brain dead, but I'll give it a shot.
     
  18. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Active Member

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    Donald Trump pardoned Scooter Libby to save himself. Nothing else makes sense, writes Matthew Cooper.

    Who is Mr Cooper? Read on:

    If Donald Trump is so outraged by leaks and lying, how could he pardon Scooter Libby? Short answer: To save himself.

    When I heard that President Trump had pardoned a pivotal figure from the George W. Bush era, I started having flashbacks.

    A little over 11 years ago, I was one of several journalists who testified at the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff to then-Vice President Cheney. Once one of the most powerful men in Washington, Libby was convicted in 2007 of lying to the FBI and obstructing an investigation into whether the Bush administration had outed a clandestine CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

    The CIA had asked Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, to investigate a British report that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was seeking to procure uranium in Africa to build weapons of mass destruction. When Wilson wrote a high-profile op-ed in 2003 saying that he found no such evidence, despite the president’s claim otherwise and the invasion of Iraq a few months earlier, administration officials took aim at Wilson and Plame.

    Thus was born the CIA leak case. No one was prosecuted for outing Plame, but Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison, slapped with a fine, lost his law license, and was beset by other indignities that befall big shots turned felons.

    A few weeks after the June 2007 verdict, Bush commuted Libby's sentence but didn’t pardon him. The Cheney ally was spared prison, but the fine and other penalties stuck.

    Until last week, the case was largely ignored except for Libby’s neoconservative allies. That’s when Trump pardoned Libby, a move so out of the blue that when I heard it, I wondered, “What the ...” The Donald hadn’t even met The Scooter. “I don’t know Mr. Libby, but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly,” the president said in a statement.

    So why did Trump help him? I’ve got a few theories based on having been part of Libby’s trial then and watching his miraculous pardon now:

    ►It sent a signal to keep quiet. The Libby pardon is like a big life preserver being waved in front of those who have made deals with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller, like former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and those who have not such as his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort. It says to them: “Hey, Libby lied and got convicted by a special counsel and I pardoned him. I can do the same for you.”

    There’s really no doubt Libby was guilty, although some of his allies still maintain as much. While he was acquitted on one charge of lying to the FBI stemming from a conversation I had with him in 2003 about Plame, the other four counts were nailed solid during his 2007 trial — especially an easily disproved whopper he told about the late host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert, having been the one who told him Plame worked at the CIA.

    ►It was a shot at James Comey. This week Comey is hawking his new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership. Long before Trump was president or Comey was FBI director, the 6-foot-8 lawman played an outsized role in the Libby case. It was Comey, then deputy attorney general, who appointed the special counsel in the CIA leak case in December 2003. (Attorney General John Ashcroft had recused himself.)

    Comey tapped his former colleague Patrick Fitzgerald, a Bush-appointed federal prosecutor in Chicago, to be special counsel in the CIA leak case. By pardoning the one conviction from the CIA leak inquiry of the early 2000s, Trump is basically saying that Comey was responsible for a miscarriage of justice now and then.

    ►It’s more proof Trump has no sense of irony. If you wanted more evidence that this pardon has nothing to do with mercy, remember that Libby is guilty of the very sins — leaking and lying about it — that Trump is constantly accusing Comey and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe of having committed. Trump was giddy last week when a report by an Obama-appointed inspector general determined that McCabe had improperly leaked.

    “He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey — McCabe is Comey!!” Trump tweeted in his usually restrained fashion. He also called Comey "a proven LEAKER & LIAR … He leaked CLASSIFIED information.”

    If Trump is so outraged by leaks and lying, how could he pardon Libby? It's because pardoning Libby isn’t about consistency, let alone clemency. It’s about a president overturning a conviction to save himself.​

    Matthew Cooper was a Time magazine White House correspondent during the CIA leak case.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opin...p-scooter-libby-james-comey-column/520669002/
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018 at 10:16 AM
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  19. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    So can you justify them or not?
     
  20. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    Clearly he is a card carrying Clinton Kool-Aid drinker. Ask a simple question about the Clintons? Oh what about this or what about that. ? You are brain dead. I feel sorry for the guy. Something happened in his life that made him this angry. I hope he finds peace somewhere.
     
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