WASHINGTON (CNN) - George Bush should have pardoned I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Dick Cheney said after stepping down as vice president this week.
"He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon. Obviously, I disagree with President Bush's decision," Cheney told Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard, a leading conservative Washington magazine.
Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into the revelation that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent.
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. Bush commuted the sentence, which he called "excessive," so that Libby served no jail time.
But he did not pardon Libby, much to the aggravation of many influential conservatives.
Hayes said that Cheney had publicly disagreed with Bush only four times in the eight years of the Bush administration.
They were only out of office for a day before the fifth disagreement surfaced.
Bush granted 189 pardons and 11 commutations during his eight years in office, far fewer than Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in their two-term administrations.
No one was ever charged with leaking Plame Wilson's identity. She and her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson III, said the revelation was a retaliation for Wilson claiming a key justification for the invasion of Iraq was false.
It ultimately came out that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had told journalist Robert Novak about Plame Wilson working for the CIA. Top Bush advisor Karl Rove confirmed it.