July 2nd, 2007
05:52 PM ET
3 years ago

Bush commutes Libby sentence

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush has commuted the prison term of former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who faced 30 months in prison after his March conviction on federal charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted in March of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to
investigators probing the 2003 disclosure of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's identity. A federal judge in Washington sentenced Libby to prison in June, and a federal appeals court rejected the ex-official's bid to remain free while appealing his conviction earlier Monday.

In a written statement issued hours after that ruling, Bush called 30-month term "excessive." But he also rejected calls for a pardon for Libby, and said the onetime adviser will still have to pay a $250,000 fine and remain on probation for two years.

"The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting," Bush said. But he said Libby was given "a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury."

Earlier: Appeals court rejects Libby’s bid for bail


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. philip barry miami florida

    This is an abomination! We as a people need to organize and march on DC.
    Not since the Nixon era has so much injustice been slapped in the faces of the American people. The legacy of George Bush will be his dishonesty. His administration has ruined the reputation of all Americans.

    July 2, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    I seem to recall another CNN article that was posted in the past couple of weeks, where John Edwards talked about "2 Americas" – and was knocked for it. Well, are there "2 Americas"? What do you think NOW?

    July 2, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  3. Eugene Dunn, Arlington Washington

    I have never been a fan of George Bush, but this is the first time I have been moved to call him contemptible. The law should be changed so that no President may pardon his own administration's present or past members. This was an egregious abuse of authority, and the President deserves to be booed in public for it.

    July 2, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. P. Parsons, Seattle, WA

    I am glad he got off my only problem is can President Bush help me with my no seatbelt ticket?
    Power to the corrupt!

    July 2, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Madame Dufarge

    Just checked out whitehouse.org.
    At least W (Wimp) had the grace not to put Scooter's dilemnna on news there.
    Or should I say, the shame not to...

    July 2, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Rich

    Scooter Libby was a scapegoat and did not deserve to spend one single day in prison.

    Unfortunatley the US Government can make a scapegoat out of any citizen it chooses. Sad commentary.

    July 2, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Tom, Dedham, Mass

    Thanks Diane for your dead on assessment:

    Couldn’t be happier, this was a witch hunt from day one fueled by the media and liberals.

    What Sandy Berger did was much worse and it was barely reported on and he only got a small fine.

    Libby was not the leaker and much like your beloved Bill Clinton, guilty of a bad memory.

    Which is more believable, someone forgetting a meaningless conversation or someone forgetting having sex with an intern?

    How many crooks/friends did Clinton pardon on the way out the door?

    Mark Rich paid a million dollars to the library after Billy boy pardoned him.

    This is not a full pardon, 2 years probation and a hefty, hefty fine.

    July 2, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  8. Scott Hoffman, Hagerstown, MD

    Just when you thought President Bush could not possibly damage America's reputation any more than he already has....he does this. High ranking Republicans must be very happy....NONE will see any jail time....no matter what they are convicted of.

    July 2, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. Outraged American in Montreal

    UNBELIEVABLE!

    Another reason to hate George W. Bush.

    The sentence wasn't EXCESSIVE, it was within the guidelines. What kind of message does this send? That it is OK to lie to a grand jury – did he also commute the sentences of other inmates convicted of the same crime who are serving similar sentences? He gives one man his freedom but did he think to do the same of the others? Oh I forgot, they weren't an insider working in the office of the criminal Vice President.

    July 2, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. Sn00t

    Sad to say that Paris Hilton did more time than Scooter Libby ....

    What a sad state of affairs ...

    July 2, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. erik, arlington, VA

    I still cannot beleive this news. GWB and the administration needs to be held accountable for their actions. Only further proof that the administration is hypocritical, covers up lies to further corporate business deals (i.e. war in Iraq for oil), etc etc etc. I pray that he is impeached...and I am a REPUBLICAN!!!

    July 2, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  12. Rebekah, Brooklyn, NY

    Wow, we should be thinking now about proposing an Amendment to the Constitution that revokes a President's right to pardon and commute sentences. How is this even possible when we claim to have a system of "checks and balances?" Schoolhouse Rocks ought to create a new song about Presidents being above the law....

    July 2, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Louis, Raleigh, NC

    Anyone who compares this to Clintons administration is CRAZY. Clintons lies were about sex, Libby's lies exposed a covert operative and put her life and possible that of many others who serve this country in danger. This pardon is just the cherry on top of the most corrupt administration EVER!!

    July 2, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. Don Norco, CA

    Two men who deserve pardons are sitting in federal prisons right now and that is Boarder Patrol Agents Ramos & Compean. Wasn’t it just 160 days ago, that Bush said he would only consider pardons for anyone after they completed their time. Everyone must have their cases fully reviewed by the DOJ and he would act on their recommendation.

    These two men of honor shot a drug smuggling illegal alien and have spent 160 days so far in Federal Prison. Both of these men were public servants who had no priors. They have support of congressional representatives and senators from both sides, but Bush does not care because they are not the rich elite.

    This President no longer cares for the citizens of the United States or this country. The rich get pardons and the illegals get amnesty and the rest of us get the shaft.

    July 2, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. Tom Carrelli

    You people are a bunch of wacko's, do you remember Bill Lying in his grand jury testimony, or Sandy Berger stealing documents, or Hillary finding the Rose law firm billing records. Did any of these people get a day in a jail.
    Granted Bush is no rocket scientist, and the country would probably be better off if he would resign. But please remember the sins of the ones that you stand up to be great leaders.

    Mark Rich anyone

    July 2, 2007 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  16. Katherine Orlando Florida

    I have one word IMPEACHMENT!
    If they impeach Pres. Clinton for a lie don't you think a President should be impeached for allowing a lier to get out of jail free card?

    July 2, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. Robert, Los Angeles, CA

    President Bush must go. He has no clue what the people of the country want; better yet, I agree he doesn’t care. I agree Libby should at least serve the same amount of time that the agents have spent in jail so far.

    I bet Bush will grant him a full pardon after the 08 elections.

    July 2, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  18. Don Norco, CA

    Two men who deserve pardons are sitting in federal prisons right now and that is Boarder Patrol Agents Ramos & Compean. Wasn’t it just 160 days ago, that Bush said he would only consider pardons for anyone after they completed their time. Everyone must have their cases fully reviewed by the DOJ and he would act on their recommendation.

    These two men of honor shot a drug smuggling illegal alien and have spent 160 days so far in Federal Prison. Both of these men were public servants who had no priors. They have support of congressional representatives and senators from both sides, but Bush does not care because they are not the rich elite.

    This President no longer cares for the citizens of the United States or this country. The rich get pardons and the illegal get amnesty and the rest of us get the shaft.

    July 2, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. Bruce Austin Texas

    IMPEACH

    July 2, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  20. Mike, Iowa City, IA

    By the president commuting the sentence of Libby, is like laughing at our entire justice system. It should not matter what our social, economic, or political rank is in our society, we all have to follow that laws that are place in this country. If any other man or woman were to be charged with the crimes that Libby was convicted of, they went be sent to prison without hesitation. This just goes to show that when you have friends in high places that they will cover for you. Maybe our President should review the laws that were written and base some of his own decisions in how he runs this country. I highly doubt this will get him anywhere in the polls, but to the very bottom.

    July 2, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. Witty Kitty in AZ

    What will it take to stop this corrupt administration?

    July 2, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. Gursharan Singh, K Lumpur Malaysia

    Bush's pardon of Libby is another example that there are two sets of laws i.e. one for those with power and those with friends in power and another for the ordinary citizens.
    It pays to have freinds in high places.
    Thus the US President has no moral right when his example is followed by other countries' leaders in ignoring the illegal acts of their friends who may be guilty of criminal acts or major frauds.

    GSK/3.7.07

    July 2, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  23. Chris, Carlsbad, CA

    Quit being polarized by the Republicans and Democrats. They both DO the same thing to keep us all polarized to stay in power; think about it for two seconds. Someone please start a viable middle of the road third party!

    July 2, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Mike Congdon, Topeka, Kansas

    While I am not surprised, it is appalling that this has been done.
    The Bush administration has now sent a clear message to American's, and the world that they are above the law, and do not have to be held accountable for their actions.
    GOD HELP AMERICA!!!!

    I find it very interesting that George Bush ran on a 'Moral' campaign in 2000.
    If this is his idea of being a moral person, I would rather be immoral.

    We should all ask Congress to begin an investigation into ALL the activities of the Bush/Cheney Administration with Impeachment being a viable option.

    Unbelievable!

    July 2, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. Ron, Wichita, Kansas

    Judge a politician not by what he says, but by what he does. Lame idiot.

    July 2, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
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