January 22nd, 2009
05:50 PM ET
3 months ago

Cheney to magazine: Bush should have pardoned Libby

Former Vice President Cheney told a conservative magazine that his aide Scooter Libby, pictured on the right, should have received a pardon from former President George W. Bush.
Former Vice President Cheney told a conservative magazine that his aide Scooter Libby, pictured on the right, should have received a pardon from former President George W. Bush.

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.

soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Brad

    Cheney has a lot of nerve, given the fact that he should have been indicted and prosecuted, too. Does anyone really have any doubt that he was the one who was behind leaking that CIA agent's identity to the press?

    January 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. chris

    Yeah let him out and put you in there

    January 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. sky

    they will begin to turn on each other, eating each other alive. Blame and guilt balancing on one mans word against another who at one time had been a colleague. They will serve each other up because each and every one of them is guilty and will look for a way, anyway to save themselves by pushing someone else into the fire first.

    January 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Leslie Griffith

    It is in the best interest of this Country that Bush did not pardon Libby. As always, Cheney is totally out of touch with the people of this wonderful nation!

    January 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. pugnacious.serf

    Dick is right, it should be him(Cheney) spending some time behind bars.

    January 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Stevio

    Too bad for Darth. Now, Libby can be charged with treason for the offense, which will allow him to barter with the feds and turn State's evidence against Cheney when the poop hits the fan, and it surely will....

    January 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Obama Supporter in Riverview

    You're right Cheney...Scooter should have been pardoned but only if you had been convicted in his place. After all, you were the cause of the whole thing.

    January 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Kyle

    Bush did the right thing.
    No matter what you think of the other decisions or issues, he got this one right.

    January 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. B. Churchill

    One wonders how much palling around Smirky and Darth will be doing in the days to come. They might need to get together to get their stories straight, but I think attorneys usually advise to stay away from alleged co-conspirators...

    January 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. jack

    he (cheney) allowed libby to take the fall ALONE

    January 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Bob H

    Outing plame came straight from Cheney and was treason. Libby got off easy, and Cheney got away with nothing for a heinous crime.

    January 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Ed from PA

    Goodbye, Dick. I'm sure you got up out of your wheelchair after the inauguration.

    January 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Bodine/MU

    Of course Cheney the corrupted crook wants his side kick pardoned. The fact of the matter is that Cheney himself should of been found guilty!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. vick

    lets see whos going to pardoned you when you go to jail

    January 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Matt

    Of course DICK wants him pardoned isnt he the crook that put him up to it. Hopefully DICK is next glad he is gone and that lame brain Bush thanks for the 8 years of lie, torture, and deception. Plus thanks for leaving us with a huge debt and a bunch of dead soliders. Hope all those millions were worth it.

    January 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. cheryl

    When you do the crime, you do the time, plain and simple. That is the problem with Washington, they all think they are above the law. As for Cheney, he should be facing charges himself.

    January 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. bill

    Leaking the name of a CIA agent is treasonous. Both Cheney and Libby should be hanged.

    January 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Ben

    Too bad he waited til his presidency was over to get a backbone when it came to Cheney...

    January 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Bill

    Too bad President Bush didn't stand-up to Cheney earlier in his administration so there were more things he could disagree with him on. I'm sure he's not saying it, but that was probably one- if not THE- biggest disappointments that you can tell from the President's last press conference that is eating at him. It's time for the former VP to find a new rock to crawl under like he did the past 8 years, but try to come out from underneath it even less than he did these past two terms...good riddance.

    January 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Bruce Harris

    Dick's opinion on anything is not worth fly-spit. This is the genius who thought flowers waited us in Bagdad and that the fool Rummy was the gosh darned best public servant in just forever. Please Dick, find a rock large enough and crawl under it. You might stay out of jail that way.

    January 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Lib

    Well, there's one good decision that G.W. made. Way to disagree with the Vader for once, Bushy!

    January 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Santa Cruz

    Me to Cheney: The whole crowd of you will be very lucky indeed, if you are not all brought to justice for your criminal activity while in office. Maybe the US at least should have its own version of "Truth and Reconciliation."

    January 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Dan

    A pardon wasn't needed or justified. Mr. Potter, just go away and let the rest of us continue living "It's a Wonderful Life."

    January 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Hettie Herron

    To heck with pardoning Libby. Bush should have pardoned, rather than commute the sentences of the two border guard that were treated so abominably by the US and Texas courts. Libby got away without serving so much as a day in jail. The problem as I see it is that Cheney and Bush should have been found guilty of the same crimes and all three should have spent time in a regular prison and not a country club prison.

    January 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. RANDY CLAYTON

    THEY SHOULD LET CHANEY TAKE HIS PLACE FOR THE ACT OF THE COWARDLY THINGS HE DID. LET CHANEY, BUSH GO BACK TO WHERE THE CAME FROM AND NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.

    January 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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