July 12th, 2007
11:44 AM ET
7 years ago

Bush: Libby decision 'fair and balanced'

President Bush answers reporters' questions about Iraq Thursday during a White House news conference.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush on Thursday called the commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence a "fair and balanced decision" and said "it's been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House."

So, Bush said, "it's run its course and now we're going to move on."

"I haven't spent a lot of time talking about the testimony that people throughout my administration were forced to give as a result of the special prosecutor," Bush said.

"I didn't ask them during the time and I haven't asked them since. I’m aware of the fact that, perhaps, somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person.

"You know, I've often thought about what had happened if that person come forth and said, I did it. Would we have had this, you know, endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter?"

Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, with two years supervised release and a $250,000 fine, when he was convicted earlier this year of perjury and obstruction of justice during an investigation into the leak of the name of a CIA operative.

Bush determined the 30-month sentence was "excessive" and commuted the prison term on July 2, while specifically saying that the supervised release and fine should remain in effect.

Filed under: President Bush • Scooter Libby
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. mark - pittsburgh

    was using "fair and balanced" a joke? Thats great.

    July 12, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    Is anyone surprised at this? Another step taken by our imperial leader. God help what will be left of our democracy by the time this man leaves office.

    July 12, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Pat, Raleigh, NC

    Just add this to the adready more than sufficient grounds for the immediate impeachment of both Bush and Cheney. This administration is NOT above the law. The country cannot allow the dangerous precedents it is setting on a near-daily basis to stand.

    July 12, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Smitty, Lansing MI

    Bush commuted Libby's sentence to protect himself. Starring at a Prison sentence, Libby had a good reason to speak out. With his prison time now commuted, he does not have to tell the truth and Bush is safe. Bush said the loss of his law license and fine was punishment enought. However, you can bet on his way out the door, Bush will pardon libby so he can return to his lucrative law career.

    July 12, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Stephen

    ha ha, Bush must have Fox News on so much he is using there tag line.

    July 12, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Thomas Walters Morganton, North Carolina

    Nobody will ever admit to leaking the name. Why, because Vice President Cheny doesn't have the internal fortitude to tell the truth. He would rather hide behind innocent individuals like a good coward.

    July 12, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Andrew, San Diego, CA

    Given Bill Clinton's history of pardons (my favorite being the pardon of the tax-evading federal fugitive Mark Rich), I'd have to agree.

    I love how Bill Clinton criticized Bush for this. How do you criticize a guy for commuting a guy who obstructed justice when you yourself lied under oath and obstructed justice? I'd love to hear someone justify this...

    July 12, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Pete, T.S. FL

    President Bush on Thursday called the commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence a “fair and balanced decision”

    So it is true FOX (AKA Rupert Murdoch) is running our country. Fair and balanced my…….

    Apply this standard to the two Border Agents that were sold out by this administration.

    Shame, Shame, Shame


    July 12, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Michael, Fairbanks, AK

    Right, Pat. Because Bill Clinton's pardon were just fine. And him lying under oath, that was okay too? You are a moron.

    July 12, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Terry, WV

    "I’m aware of the fact that, perhaps, somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person."

    And now we're supposed to just forget about it and "move on" without any accountability? Treason has occurred and he thinks he can just shrug it off?

    This Administration has shredded our Constitution.

    July 12, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Bush and Cheney as time goes on are becoming a symbol of cronism and corruption.

    The secrecy, lies, spin job used car salesman pitches...of epic proportions.

    Meanwhile Dick Cheney has become the invisible man hiding out at his residence and not telling the media where he is.

    Bush has become increasingly like Nixon...caught up in so many lies he doesn't even know what he is saying any longer...sad to watch.

    July 12, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Andrew, San Diego

    CNN – what is going on with this comment scrubbing? You just deleted another one of my comments supporting Bush? Can you be any more blatant is your role to support the left?

    July 12, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Sean, Orlando

    So were all of Clinton's pardons okay? How about him pardoning a federal fugitive? Okay too?

    July 12, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Michael L Friend, Fort Worth TX

    Very interesting he used the phrase "fair and balanced", kinda like that Republican news channel (the one that has the letters F and X) which claims the same thing, and all the other right-wing TV/radio hacks like to call themselves (Hannity, Limbaugh,
    Beck, Carlson, Levin, etc.) while calling everyone else "cut-and-runners", "Al Qaida lovers", "the liberal hordes" and worse, or even "Un-American" !!!!!

    July 12, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. elaina crisafulli

    Well really, what did everyone expect? "President" Bush will do anything he wants....hasn't everyone caught on by now?? He's the most idiotic, unintelligent, unethical fool that's ever stepped foot in the White House. But hey America, you voted for him.....TWICE!

    July 12, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Sarav Chithambaram, Cambridge, MA

    Is "Fair and Balanced decision" joke of the day? Did our President say he will fire anyone who leaked the info? He cant live up to his own words.. No wonder Iraq is burning and our men and women are maimed daily and dont forget about the thousand of innocent Iraqis who gets killed. Its not a violent video game play, its for real.

    July 12, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. sonny c.ville platte,la

    Hey, let's don't forget move on;another Freudian slip.

    July 12, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Headin' fo da Hills, West Hell, USA

    Hold on while I gag on my spiked kool-aid.....We Americans have no one but ourselves to blame for the state of this administration. We have silently indicated "take my civil liberties...I'm not using them anyway!"

    July 12, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. demetrtious, san juan bautista

    libby was convicted of crimes and sentenced consistent with the law while being represented by the best lawyers money could buy. Bill Clinton was also a dishonest thuggish type person but his pardon of Rich,while obscene because of the bribery element, was of a man deemed innocent of any crime by our system. there is a huge difference between the libby and rich situations. Bush and most of the administration are criminals, no doubt about it.

    July 12, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. sdofelmier, Seattle Washington

    Fair and Balanced? I think Mr. Bush is watching too much of Fox news.

    July 12, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    "That Person"?... Do you mean Valerie Plame? The covert CIA agent who put her life on the line for this country for 20 years?? Bush can't even use her name?????

    Does he really think we can just shrug it off and move on? Does he really think it is "no big deal"??? WOW!

    July 12, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Nicolette, Tempe, AZ

    Andrew, I'm not sure that you really understand the Clinton impeachment. He was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice, yes, but since when was our judicial system used to determine if our world leader had an affair or not? The real shame is that he was brought to impeachment inquiries because of a moral (as opposed to legal) issue, whereas Bush can take away our civil liberties and break the law with absolutely no consequences. It's not just about the commutation of Libby's sentence–it's about getting away with murder because no one has the guts to utilize our system of checks and balances.

    July 12, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Gary, Denver, Colorado

    Just more Bushbabel. He can try and rationalize, downplay and dismiss this travesty of justice all he wants. The bottom line is he subverted the American justice system by freeing a criminal convicted by a jury of his peers. Shame on you Mr. President!

    July 12, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. S

    I bet you, that Libby has something on the President, either on video or tape. And that is why he got his "get-out-of-jail-free" card so easily. It's probably in side some bank deposit box that would be opened and given to the press if Scooter spent one day in jail.

    July 12, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Alan, Jacksonville, FL

    If I remember correctly from the press conference, the reporter asked if Bush had any remorse about someone in his administration leaking the info. Basically, his response was evasive, capping off with a classic: "it's run its course and now we're going to move on."

    How is this Yahoo still in office? Anyone? Anyone?

    July 12, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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