July 2nd, 2007
05:52 PM ET
4 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. al kraatz, skokie, IL

    George W. Bullsh!!!

    July 2, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. Joyce, Dayton Ohio

    I am disgusted. The President has turned it all upside down: America doesn't even mean the same thing any more. Justice? How about bald-faced favoritism? What about justice for the people who spend their lives in secret service, in defense of the country? Do we pardon actions that may have contributed to an anonymous star on the wall? Does it matter?

    July 2, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  3. Jeff G., Portland, Maine

    George W Bush has provided another example of why the US is declining as a world leading democracy and example to the rest of the world – blowing the cover of a government agent who operated covertly for the US, her work and network of contacts. How many people have been hurt or possibly killed by this.

    Question – Why should government agencies or the military defend a country that is an empty shell of it's former self?

    Answer – Don't bother.

    July 2, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  4. David Westin, Dallas, Texas

    I wish I could say this is surprising. This is just another example of the Bush administration’s lack of respect for the importance of ethics, justice, and integrity. When will congress finally begin talking about impeachment?

    July 2, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  5. Patricia Mansker, Junction City, KS

    Unfortunately, this is just what I have come to expect from the Bush Administration.

    Mr. Bush clearly feels that he and his are above both the law and popular opinion, and feels that he can do what he wants. This will, I think, spell death for the Republican's hopes in the next election, as the backlash from the Libby fiasco will echo for years.

    July 2, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  6. bill, Palo Alto, CA

    Can you imagine (if not stomach) the coverage FOX must be doing. Probably having an orgasm (or add your own politically correct word) of joy. Lord Bush strikes again.

    July 3, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  7. CJ, San Diego, CA

    I don't get it. Yet B.P. agents Ramos & Campeon rot in prison? C'mon. Talk about your excessive sentences! Libby lies and flies. Ramos & Campeon, two American Hispanic blue collar guys w/ kids & wives, convicted on the testemony of a Mexican drug dealer granted immunity (who then got caught AGAIN smuggling drugs) do time?!! In their case Bush said he was confident in the jury's decision. I suppose it all comes down to who your friends are.
    Scooter got by with a little help from his friends. As for the rest of us...WHERE IS OUR USA?!! COME ON! Get your head out of the clouds! I am SO disappointed in this administration. I'm an American, and they don't represent me :(

    July 3, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  8. J. Byers, Durham, NH

    It is unbelievable to me that there are people out there so blindly partisan that they are applauding this. I don’t care how conservative one is- these guys (Libby and his higher-ups) exposed a CIA operative during war time. If Libby had been a Democrat he would have been executed as a traitor. Bush has made our country so fiercely partisan the way he has politicized war and science and everything. Very scary.

    July 3, 2007 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. Bagman

    Where was all the Democrat indignation when Clinton perjured himself, and then sold pardons for money? When Berger got off with a slap on the wrist?

    Democrat hypocrisy.

    July 3, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  10. David, Smallville, New York

    Well, it seems to me that CNN is leaving out the most important part of this:

    By commuting Libby's sentence–but not pardoning him–Libby still has fifth amendment protection. So if, say, Congress wanted to ask Libby about Bush and Cheney, Scooter can take the fifth. If Libby was pardoned, he would (ahem) have to tell the truth.

    Come on CNN. Mentioning that Bush and Cheney have protected themselves quite nicely by communting Libby's sentence is a really, really, basic part of the story. Why did Scooter lie in the first place? I mean, duh.

    July 3, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  11. Sean, Chicago, IL

    I wonder if Victor Rita (who served 24 years in the Marine Corps, had tours of duty in Vietnam and the first Gulf war, received over 35 military metals and awards) will get his 33-month sentence commuted? Somehow I doubt it, since Bush's Department of Justice recently took that case all the way to the Supreme Court – and won. Victor Rita won't be seeing a get out of jail free card. Check it out at http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2007/03/comparing_lewis.html

    July 3, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  12. Steve, Astoria, Or

    Sadly our government has become a joke and by not taking action we're letting it happen. Phone, e-mail...send smoke signals if need be, but get a hold of your Senator or Rep and let them know this is not acceptable.

    July 3, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  13. Gilbert, Hayward , ca

    King George and his Republican Lords are above the Law that we commoners must abide by.

    If you are among the special interests, corporate over Lords or neo-concervitie christians you are saved by King George.

    July 3, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  14. Lisa Austin, TX

    Credibility? I don't need no stinking credibility!

    July 3, 2007 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  15. Conky, Sunnyvale, CA

    Libby's sentence wouldn't have been commuted except for a judge and his insistence that Libby must go to jail immediately with no right to appeal or bail.

    Hopefully Bush will give him a full pardon on his last day in office.

    July 3, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  16. Graham, Stanwood, WA

    Obstruction of Justice by the outlaw president.
    Just one more count for impeachment proceedings.

    July 3, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  17. Dave Clark Jordan

    Big Deal
    We had a president that lied to court, was fined and lost his law license. This President served no jail time why should Libby. His fine and law license is still valid and if not pardoned will not be re-gain his law license as he is still consideres a felon. He did not not out the CIA agent and was not charged with that.

    July 3, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  18. Vincent Narvaez, LA,CA

    Figures. Herbert did the same for Casper Weinberger (indicted, and about to be convicted for Iran -Contra)
    in 92' after he got bounced by Clinton as he left office.Like father, like son I suppose. He did even get a chance to taste any iron bars or any of that crappy food to boot.

    Say W, I got a buddy who (alledgedly) got busted with 2 keys, you think you could uhh......forget it.

    July 3, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  19. Rebecca Jurgerson Manteno Illinois

    This is total and complete arrogance on this administration's part. I hope Fitzgerald puts Libby on the stand and gives him immunity so he can't plead the fifth. Let's see then what he has to say about the crooked Cheney and Bush. If he lies again, Oh I forgot Bush will just commute his sentence again. I forgot there for a minute. I thought I was living in the U.S.A. before Bush took office.

    July 3, 2007 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  20. Ron, Los Angeles

    Paris Hilton was railroaded! I think she should sue.

    July 3, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  21. Carol, Mission Viejo, CA

    Smells like a cover up to me...

    July 3, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. Georgi, Austin, Texas

    This administration has finally decided to stop doing secret business behind close doors and publicly announce that they will stop at nothing to get their way, including TREASON! Do you get it, TREASON! WAKE UP, NATION...before its too late.

    July 3, 2007 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  23. Georgi, Austin, Texas

    This administration has finally decided to stop doing secret business behind close doors and publicly announce to the world that they will stop at nothing to get their way, including TREASON! Do you get it, TREASON! WAKE UP, NATION...before its too late.

    July 3, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  24. James Gilbreath

    Year after year Republicans have screamed for the head of those who leak the identies of CIA agents etc. Libby was convicted of obstructing a investigation into the most recent leak. A leak most likely done in revenge by the Bush Administration for the agents' husbands comments on a proven mistatement by Bush and Chaney. A agent who was usering her already developed connections to investigate Iran's nuclear programs. We lost a scource of information.
    and the good old boy 's of the GOP go free of jail time that a lesser person would have never evaded. Just proves justice takes connections or excuse me avoiding justice takes connection. Got to love Republican values.

    July 3, 2007 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  25. Cheryl

    OJ Simpson probably needs a job – I think he would be right at home with this administration. They are all shining examples of who you know and how much money you have getting you ANYTHING! I think everyone should fly their flags half staff on the fourth to show their disgust with this outrageous decision! It is a dark day for our country when the President (and I use that term loosely) can excuse his FRIEND just because he can.
    Send e-mails to the White House and show them your anger. You can even send e-mail directly to Mr. Cheney – although you can probably reach him easier at Halliburton – that's where the money is. Anyway – here is the e-mail for whoever wants it. GOOD LUCK GETTING SOMEONE WHO CARES!! vice_president@ whitehouse.gov

    July 3, 2007 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
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