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. steve black

    cheney should have been the one convicted
    not libby who fell on his sword for the boss

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. donmcybertect

    At least now he can't pardon else anyone, even himself. They must all be held accountable.

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Keith

    Perhaps Cheney should have been convicted for the cover-up instead.

    January 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. donmcybertect

    anyone else?

    January 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Afam

    Lol Why should he Pardon libby.lol.He better hope President Obama does.

    January 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. dick delson

    Dick Chaney should be brought up on charges of conspiracy for his role in the Iraq war. And how about the fact that he made certain Halliburton was the only company given a contract to rebuild Iraq. And he has long been associated with Halliburton. If anyone should go to jail, it's him*

    January 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Brad

    Why should he be pardoned? No one ever made a convincing argument for that. This wasn't a case of being wrongfully accused or having been rehabilitated by the system. Libby was charged and found guilty of a crime. Done deal.

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Francisco Cardenas

    I think former President Bush believed that Libby did it.

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. itbeme

    bush and chaney should be in jail right beside libby......

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. wendy

    Gee...I wonder why Cheney would say that??? Could it be that Scooter Libby's charges are directly linked to Cheney??? And, I just have to say it one more time, what was up with the wheelchair? I believe he did not want to look anyone in the eye. Just like Lynn Cheney, who did not smile through the entire day. I have never had anything good to say about George W, but I will give him a big pat on the back for not pardoning that crook!

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Pardon Libby and jail Cheney

    I agree with VP CHeney, President bush should have pardoned Scooter Libby, but only in exchange for testimony that would have placed the blame quarely on Cheney, and then Cheney and Libby could have switched places in jail.

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Doug

    The problem with having puppet, is once the strings are cut or about to be cut you not only loose control, the puppet will have no mercy for any of your requests any longer.

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Bob Dog

    Its super to see "Darth Sideous" criticize George Bush!!!

    Let the ripping and tearing of flesh begin.

    I love how Republicans eat their own when its all over. I can't wait for more great entertainment from these fools!!!

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Sue in Canada

    Wow. For someone who was at the center of the controversy, and did not even get a slap on the wrist, he's one to talk.

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Ryan in Waynesboro, VA

    Dick is upset because Libby was held accountable for the treason he commited? Gosh, I'm just not sure why that doesn't surprise me...

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Kevin A

    I bet he "strongly believes" Libby deserved a pardon. Now, when Cheney goes to trial, Scooter will be angry enough that he will testify against Cheney. I'm surprised that he didn't mention that he is actually more pissed that Bush didn't issue a pre-emptive pardon for the crimes Cheney himself has committed.

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Chris in MI

    Not surprised at this one. Isn't commuting his sentence enough? You think all of your criminal friends should get off 'scott free'? It's not enough that you and Georgie boy trampled on American citizens constitutional rights, leaving Obama to clean up your mess. You are a miserable, mean-spirited old man. You and your ilk think nothing of putting a devoted CIA agent in danger by revealing her identity (sounds like treason to me) just because her husband 'dared' to disagree with you? Shame! May your pacemaker loose it's charge!

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Wyoming-Rich

    Cheney's an IDIOT and a CROOK !
    He's the one that should be in jail !
    He's as corrupt as any of the big money company CEO's !
    I hope he moves away from Wyoming since he leaves a STINK in Jackson Hole !

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. gpraz

    I have been trying to say something nice about Bush and finally he did something based on ethics and the law. Conservative Republicans want Libby cleared? since when is braking the law OK??? This agent was outed. Pure plain and simple. Maybe Cheney did it! His friend is paying the price. I am a republican but wow can't tke much more of this. Thank God for Obama.

    January 22, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Jon

    Dick who? Who is this old and cranky guy, and when will he disappear for good?

    January 22, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Tomkat in Seattle

    I think Mr Cheney should worry that he isn't indicted for a plethora of crimes himself. What a disgrace to all Americans. M2C

    January 22, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. BB

    Wrong. Actually, the House and the Senate should have tried and convicted Bush and Cheney and Rove – with no pardon anywhere in sight.

    January 22, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. James

    What about the other federal prisoners convicted of similar offenses. Cheney has no sympathy for them so why should Libby get a pardon? Everyone else has to serve their sentence.

    January 22, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Dave Skinner

    I agree with the former Vice President.

    January 22, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. pam

    Although I did not agree with George Bush on many topics, I always felt he did what he thought was right. He may have been misguided by those who surrounded him, but he was an honorable man. This honor came more into view with the transition from the Bush era to the Obama era.

    Thus it was not by accident that he did not pardon Scooter Libby. Libby and Cheney often acted as if they were above the law. Bush again, did what he thought was the right thing.

    January 22, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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