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. Bob Brilliant, Sarasota, Florida

    In all seriousness, what is the difference between the American People and other Countries run by Dictators ? Answer ? the American people have the right and the power to IMPEACH Mr. Bush for this political, under-handed manuvear. and in my Opinion, we should immediately send a message to the rest of the world that his actions are unacceptable to our so-called, Greatest Democracy in this World. Richard Milhouse Nixkon resigned over far less aggregess behavior. Why ? Because in those days Politicians knew right from wrong without having to read e-mails. or read Polls. Shouldn't Mr. Bush do the right thing now, himself, and spare the county of an IMPEACHMENT ORDEAL. So to speak, Fall on the sword, and do us all a favor.
    This country needs a moral compass, not another crooked politcial manuvear.
    Goodbye Bush, one way or the other. Don't you or your friends come back. Honestly, we've had enough. Do you get the message ?
    Bob Brilliant, Sarasota, Florida.

    July 3, 2007 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  2. Deb

    Because of Bush and his administration I feel that America is now a scarey place to live. I am embarrassed that America has such a criminal for a President. Bush has no idea on how to be a good President. He cares absolutely nothing for the little people and it just disgusts me. He starts this war for no reason and so many young men died and never had a chance to live and it really gets me mad. Look at all the families that have to live without there sons or daughters because of him. He really never worries about Americas problems. It's always all the other countries that he worries about and the war. Our country is going to pot because of him. This man needs to be IMPEACHED immediately. I don't think we can survive another 16 months with him. Shame on the people who voted him in office.

    July 3, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  3. Bugi, Irvine

    Another Bush shameful move added to numerous others.

    July 3, 2007 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  4. Jeremy J, Olive Branch MS

    Of course "Dubya" would take the initiative to cover for the roaches he keeps in his house. Deceit is the largest "bushism" in use by our president. This time Bush has deceived the legal processes of our country. I bet Paris Hilton wishes she had a George W listed in the address book of her sidekick phone. Check this out:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/JJ41385/petition.html

    July 3, 2007 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  5. Brett Henthorn Lafayette, LA

    I am so ashamed to have been a staunch supporter of the President. First the Iraq fiasco, next the wrongful imprisonment of the Border Patrol Agents, and now this. Hey Democrats....you just got another vote next year. DON'T stab me in the back like these our Pres. and VP just did.

    July 3, 2007 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  6. Jamaal F, Los Angeles CA

    You know part of me wants to say the hell with free speech The only reason I say that is because we have been hearing you conservative idiots (not all conservatives are idiots, but most of the ones that appear on Fox are) show unwavering support for a President and adminstration that has lied, stole, embezzled and put our best young troops on the frontline of a war that the American People never supported. The media, including this organization, would show all of the protest from over seas during the early stages of the war, but their was protest right here in the states that received little political coverage. Politicians that stood up against the war were vilified as terrorist supporters and unpatriotic americans, while they might have been the strongest americans that our political system held. And now in the face of a blatant slap to the justice system and to the history of America, Bush commutes a sentence for someone who has committed the gravest of crimes, treason upon our state. Now I know he wasn't charged with treason, that would be too much like right, but any man that puts the lives of our C.I.A. agents at risk for political gain, is guilty of treason in my book. Who knows how many agents covers were blown because of this political vendetta orchestrated by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. And for what, because an ambassador who was doing his job and scrutinizing evidence instead of just accepting everything the administration has told us, went against Dick Cheney and Bush? I am just disgusted with politics in general, I find my only comfort in knowing that it can't get any worst then this, unless of course Guliani or Newt Gingrich becomes president. And before you 'pundits' start your unwaivering defense of Scooter, let me remind you, that nobody lost their life over Clintons alleged crime, while thousands of soldiers have died in a war that is unjust, underfunded and not well thought out. Can somebody tell me how in the world we can afford to give Haliburton billions of dollars, but can not afford to give our troops proper body armor to fight 'Bush's' war? This is not a war on terror, it is a war on our constitution. Steal an election, mislead the american people about 9/11, commit purgery, cherry pick a justice system that will rule in your favor, take away 'the peoples' rights with an '(Un)Patriot Act'. The list goes on and on. If Paris can go to jail for a suspended license, then Scooter Libby should be doing some time, not probation and a fine that he won't even pay. And Karl Rove and Cheney need to be next. Maybe now that Scooter is out, and his public career is over, maybe he can audition for the next season of Prison Break on Fox!!!!

    July 3, 2007 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  7. George, Chicago IL

    Bush is not smart enough to understand a trial. He can understand covering a friends back, his leadership skills therefore extend to his friends. He should be impeached, he's no friend of the American people.

    July 3, 2007 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  8. Jeff Kanter, Los Angeles, CA

    I guess there is honor among crooks.

    July 3, 2007 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  9. Henry, Sunnyvale CA

    Clinton lied about having Sex = Casualties (0)
    Bush lied to get us to war = Casualties (3500 plus)

    July 3, 2007 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  10. Mercer Island, WA

    As govenor of Texas, George W Bush could have commuted the sentences of dozens of persons on death row, but because they showed no remorse for their crimes, he signed their executions. Now as president he commutes a 30 month sentence of a man who has shown no remorse for the crimes he committed against our country. Is that our country's idea of justice? How can this man still be our president?

    July 3, 2007 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  11. Ben, Boston, MA

    pathetic. absolutely pathetic.

    July 3, 2007 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  12. KB Mercer

    IMPEACH CHENEY AND BUSH. This is outrageous, this has gone too far. These men to whom we have given our trust and to whom we have giventhe power of our nation are CRIMINALS. If we DON'T impeach them both we might as well just sit back and watch democracy in America curl up and die.
    This is what our founding fathers created IMPEACHMENT for.
    No excuses. IMPEACH THEM BOTH NOW.

    July 3, 2007 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  13. Bill, Roswell, GA

    He should have been tried and convicted of treason for ratting out a CIA agent.

    July 3, 2007 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  14. Barbara, Seattle

    Did Bush buy Scooter's silence about goings on in the White House with his commutation of the sentence?

    July 3, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  15. Rachel, San Diego CA

    It's sad to see so many fools in one room. You people want so badly to find Libby guilty when Valerie Plame was never even undercover to begin with. Then, to go on and say that it's worse than what Clinton did? That's idiotic. Everyone who cries and whines about this needs to get a clue.

    July 3, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  16. Brad VanAuken, Mendon, NY

    Blatant disregard for ‘rule of law’ and Constitutional checks and balances is the downfall of a democracy. When our leaders act in this way, it sends the message that anything is ‘ok’ providing that you can get away with it. The holding on of power is clearly more important than integrity and the greater good of the nation. This is a sad, dark time for the United States of America.

    July 3, 2007 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  17. Donald Klinestiver, Milton WV

    Gangsters silience witnesses with threats or payoffs these gangsters Bush Cheney Rove njust paid off theirs.

    July 3, 2007 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  18. jan w. skjølberg, oslo, norway

    this just adds to the impression around the world that the u.s goverment is a big-boys-club that elevates its self over both justice, truth and people.

    im sad on your behalf.

    js

    July 3, 2007 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  19. Donald Klinestiver, Milton WV

    Remember voters the Republican candidates all approve of this lets show them in 08.

    July 3, 2007 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  20. Larry Perkins Rossford, Ohio

    We have two border guards are in prison for, as far as I can tell, for doing their job. This is just another example of two standards. If you have the money or the connections you can get away with almost anything.

    July 3, 2007 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  21. Ron Chapman, Boiling Springs SC

    Well GB has shown again what it means to be an American in the eyes of the world. He has made us all look like fools. I would not believe a word of what he may say or do for the rest of his term or any republican as far as that goes. Everyone was dragged down this path to war by the white house and all of the republicans push and pushed. Well I would bet that now that Libby is retired he will receive a pension of sorts.

    July 3, 2007 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  22. Orlando, FL

    On this issue, I keep hearing it being minimized by people speaking about the Clinton Admin. Please note; The Clinton Admin has not been in charge since 2000. Regardless of Bill Clinton's shinanigans, the Bush problem is here, now, and in our face.

    July 3, 2007 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  23. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Libby's sentence was unusually harsh and there is no justice in handing one man a sentence many times what previous transgressors have received for like crimes.

    I believe Libby should pay for his crimes, but can see he already has, to the extent of what his crimes really were.

    He still has to pay $250,000, the felony stays on his record and his reputation and ability to work as he has done in the past is shattered.

    I am not a Bush fan, but Bush has only 1/3 the pardons that Clinton had and the only other president with fewer pardons is Bush's father. Clearly, he is the least abusive of such a president's privilege, if a case can be made that he abused this power at all.

    July 3, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  24. MONICAdidmetoo

    Why should any of our corrupt politicians 'worry about the grand jury'? Clinton set that precedent during his term. It’s actually quite funny reading all the outrage on these boards – exactly like a flashback when Bubba did his share of impeachment quality behavior. We’ve got corrupt so-called “leaders”. We need a NEW DEAL, not one that already tried and failed (bubba / she-bubba). Oh yeah, I’d say people comparing Clinton (our PRESIDENT at the time) LYING to a Grand Jury and the American Public is just as bad and/or worse than Libby being as big of an idiot.

    July 3, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  25. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    George W. Bush:
    Pardons: 113
    Commutations: 4 (including Libby)

    Bill Clinton:
    Pardons: 396
    Commutations: 61

    All you Clinton lovers (he had many) have nothing to say about these numbers that include Mark Rich who was is an international commodities trader. He fled the United States in 1983 to live in Switzerland while being prosecuted on charges of tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran during the hostage crisis?

    He received a presidential pardon from United States President Bill Clinton in 2001, which required him to pay a $100 million fine before the charges would be dropped.

    He also gave a million dolars to the Clinton library, hows that for someone being pardoned (not commuted) under phony circumstance who was implicit with our ENEMY?

    If Valerie Plame want's to discuss why she requested Joe Wilson to be part of the Niger investigation, lets do it, and he can explain why MUCH of what he reported was proven FALSE.

    Can we go after the guy (who hates Bush by the way) who really leaked the name of this "supposed" CIA operative.

    Bush is an idiot, but Clinton (in spite of the Clinton News Network) was no better.

    July 3, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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