July 12th, 2007
11:44 AM ET
12 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. Wang, El Centro, CA

    I think he got "fair & balanced" from Foxy The Snowman. I thought Foxy had Liver Cancer ?

    July 12, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. S. M. Knight

    We were not talking about Mr. Joseph Wilson's wife in the above mentioned matter. We were talking about Mr. Joseph Wilson's sister who was acting in a nepotism position. It is the responsibility of Walter Reed Army Hospital to evaluate the public officials to determine whether their actions are dictated by paranoia. If their motive is not paranoia it may be financial or a personal vendetta of the prosecutor.

    July 12, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Army Officer, Texas

    I wish people would understand that the President does have the power to fire attorney's and divuldge information about anyone who work's under him. Bush's biggest problem is that he lets the media tell him he is doing something wrong when there is so much precedence throughout presidential history...Clinton fired all but one US attorney when he got to office!!! Also...stop bashing the Iraq war until you have actually been a part of it...it's not what the media says it is.

    July 12, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Anonymous


    Interesting way to put it.

    July 12, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. M Randois, Los Angeles, CA

    "Fair and Balanced"? Did Rupert Murdoch approve this use or is he going to sue Bush? Or is Fox News the official corporate sponsor of the commutation?

    July 12, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. John, Dayton, Ohio

    I find it "interesting" when so many angry libs pounce on President Bush with such venom any chance they get. Just go back and read all of these comments! Except, of course, the two conservative comments that CNN (probably mistakenly)allowed to be posted. My question is, "who the hell cares about Scooter Libby?". I don't!Why is this so important? Next week it will be some other boring political issue and this will be forgotten. I am waiting (forever, it seems) for a lib to discuss (rationally) an important issue relating to the good of America, like border security or fixing the Social Security funding exhaustion so our children do not foot the bill. Having a lib do this.......now THAT would be "interesting". Get in the game kids, and stop picking dandelions (as I used to say to my 7-8 year old baseball team). Good grief!

    July 12, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Jeannie in Sacramento, CA

    Gaaad, he's full of it! Didn't he say that the person(s) who leaked the Plame identity to the news media "would not be working" at the White House? Is it any wonder nobody listens to him anymore? He's become an embarrassment to the GOP and the entire country!

    July 12, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Sean, Orlando

    I take great comfort in knowing that none of you will ever be an elected official. I simply cannot fathom how you filthly liberals can completely ignore Clinton's 550+ pardons.

    I'd really like to hear the rational...

    July 12, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    I guess to Bush, Al Capone and the Leaning Tower of Pizza would be fair
    and balanced too!!!

    One thing for sure that is Not Fair or Balanced is Bush!

    END OF STORY....This Man makes me Nauseaous just looking at him.

    July 12, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. Ann Brunswick ME

    What a waste of time worrying this to death. Get over it.

    July 12, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. M Randois, Los Angeles, CA

    Posted By Michael, Fairbanks, AK
    [quote]Because Bill Clinton’s pardon were just fine. And him lying under oath, that was okay too? You are a moron.[/quote]

    I don't know anyone who thinks Clinton's shortcomings are "okay"
    On the other hand, only a moron would think lying about consensual oral sex is as bad as lying about treason or that pardoning someone who gave you money is as bad as commuting the sentence of someone who might otherwise testify against you to avoid jail time.

    Posted By Andrew, San Diego, CA
    [quote]I’d love to hear someone justify this…[/quote]
    Justification enough for you Andrew? Or do you want to tell me about how receiving oral sex is every bit as bad as betraying your own country?

    July 12, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Amy Gilliam, Gainesville, FL

    "Fair and balanced." Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

    July 13, 2007 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  13. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Keep it up Der Fuhrer, you're becoming more believable every time thy mouth opens. More talk from the Reichstag, or maybe this time the Fuhrer Bunker?

    July 13, 2007 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  14. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    To Army Officer:

    "stop bashing the Iraq war, it's not what the media says it is." Of course if your an officer you have to support the 'status quo.' After all, your career may be on the line if you don't support it. As to telling people to "stop bashing the war" that's what a Democracy is all about, it's called 'freedom of speech,' and everyone can voice their opinion, be it pro or con. Give it a rest, your not commanding anyone here on a CNN blog site, nor giving orders, even though you may wish you could. This is not the Uniform Code of Military Justice!

    July 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Fox is a lot more fair and balanced than ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR,PBS, MSNBC, the New York times, Boston globe and the rest of the MSM cabal that has had a one majority mindset (LIBERAL) for years and years. But that was ok?

    Along comes this startup network that has people with differing viewpoints sitting together and discussing the world.

    Aghast are the brainwashed populace who have never ventured off into a realm with a differing view, so in turn they lash out at the NUMBER ONE network even though many have never watched.

    David Letterman comes to mind, when he setup Bill O'Reilly (who is more moderate than anything) and hammered him for this and that, and O'Reilly asked him point blank, "have you ever watched the show", Leterman responded "No, but people tell me....".

    Nuff said.

    July 13, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. M Randois, Los Angeles, CA

    Posted By Sean, Orlando : July 12, 2007 5:10 pm :
    "I simply cannot fathom how you filthly liberals can completely ignore Clinton’s 550+ pardons."

    Sean, I simply cannot fathom how you can completely ignore reality. It's your "facts" that are "filthly"! In his eight years, Clinton issued 396 pardons – only three more than Ronald Reagan. Far fewer that other recent eight year presidents and fewer than many presidents that server shorter terms. For example, Nixon issued 863 pardons in just five and a half years. (see: http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/actions_administration.htm#clinton). If you think Presidential pardons should be more regulated so that fewer are given to friends and family in January of the final term – fair enough! But don't pretend Clinton abused this power any more than many of the presidents that came before him.

    The crucial difference between the Rich pardon and the Libby commutation is this:
    Rich was accused of crimes roughly ten years prior to Clinton's election while the crime Libby was convicted of occurred within the Bush White House. While Clinton may have eventually benefited from the gain of Rich's alleged crimes through campaign donations, the crime that Libby was convicted of was committed to hide the treasonous actions of others within the White House. Because of this commutation, Libby can no longer be compelled to testify if it was Rove or Cheney who outed the CIA spy.

    July 13, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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