July 5th, 2007
03:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Libby pays $250,000 fine

Libby paid his $250,000 fine Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A quarter-million dollar fine that Lewis "Scooter" Libby paid Thursday was the most substantial element remaining from his conviction in March on federal charges that included perjury and obstruction of justice.

President Bush on Monday commuted Libby's 30-month sentence, and in light of that, the trial judge says he does not know whether Libby must still serve supervised probation. In addition, Libby had been ordered to serve 400 hours of community service, not yet specified, and the status of that also is unclear.

Bush declined to set aside the $250,000 fine imposed by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who had been adamant that Libby serve time for lying to investigators looking into the possible leak of classified material dating back to 2003.

A court document filed Thursday shows Libby obtained a cashier's check Monday, the same day as Bush's decision to keep him out of prison. The check, drawn on a bank near Libby's home in McLean, Va., includes the quarter-million dollar fine and the court's special assessment of $400.

The court's receipt is dated Thursday, and includes a photocopy of the check filed in the public record of the case.

Walton has asked Libby's defense team and prosecutors to file documents by July 9 with their positions on how he should handle the probation matter. In his order, he wrote that the clemency law Bush used in commuting Libby's sentence does not address how to establish post-confinement probation for someone who hasn't been behind bars.

- CNN Producer Paul Courson

Filed under: Scooter Libby
July 5th, 2007
12:56 PM ET
9 years ago

Snow slams Bill Clinton over Libby criticism

The Clintons are campaigning in Iowa this week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House spokesman Tony Snow fired back Thursday at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband after former President Bill Clinton charged at a campaign stop that the Bush administration believes the law is a "minor obstacle" in the wake of the commutation controversy.

"I don't know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it," Snow told reporters in an off-camera briefing.

Snow took the shot at the Clintons after again being pressed by reporters about President Bush's decision to commute the 30-month prison sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby and leave the door open to a future pardon.

Asked about House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers' plan to probe the Libby commutation, Snow snapped that the congressman should "knock himself out," but also probe the slew of pardons granted at the end of the Clinton administration.

In an op-ed piece in USA Today Thursday, Snow defended Mr. Bush's action by charging that Mr. Clinton was "in a mad rush to push through pardons with dizzying haste” - 141 grants on Clinton's final day in office, part of 211 in the final nine weeks.

Asked by a reporter if he was asserting that "two wrongs make a right" and thus it was okay for Mr. Bush to abuse his power, Snow said: "Do we feel we've done wrong? Do we feel we cut corners? The answer is no."


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Scooter Libby
July 4th, 2007
01:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Bill Clinton blasts Libby clemency, says his pardons 'different'

Former President Clinton takes a break from the campaign trail in Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton blasted his successor's decision to spare ex-White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby from prison, telling Iowa radio listeners that Libby's case differed from his own administration's pardon controversy.

"You've got to understand, this is consistent with their philosophy," Clinton said during an interview on Des Moines news-talk station WHO. Bush administration officials, he said, "believe that they should be able to do what they want to do, and that the law is a minor obstacle."

Clinton was impeached in 1998 over perjury allegations stemming from his sexual relationship with a White House intern, but the Senate acquitted him. And a flurry of last-minute pardons issued as he left office in 2001 - particularly his absolution of fugitive financier Marc Rich - sparked largely partisan outrage. Critics alleged that the pardon of Rich was linked to contributions raised for Clinton's presidential library by Rich's ex-wife.

Libby's defenders have pointed to Democratic support for Clinton during that period to accuse critics of Bush's clemency order of hypocrisy.

"Wasn't it Bill Clinton that was handing out pardons like lollipops at the end of his administration?" former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, told supporters in Iowa on Tuesday. "And isn't there some recognition that perhaps you might look a little silly if you didn't have anything to say when he was handing out pardon after pardon after pardon for political purposes only?"

But the former president said, "I think the facts were different."

"It's wrong to out that CIA agent, and wrong to try to cover it up - and wrong that no one was ever fired from the White House for doing it," he said.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Scooter Libby
July 3rd, 2007
12:43 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush: Full Libby pardon possible

Bush said Tuesday he hasn't ruled out pardoning Libby.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush said Tuesday he wouldn't rule in or out a full pardon for former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, after having commuted his 30-month prison sentence Monday.

The president's comments came as he left the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he had been visiting military personnel wounded in the Iraq war.

White House spokesman Tony Snow also discussed the possibility of a pardon in the daily White House briefing.

"There is always a possibility or there's an avenue open for anybody to petition for consideration of a pardon," Snow told reporters. "As far as we know, that's not been done, and we don't know if it's contemplated by Scooter Libby or his defense team."

"The reason I will say I'm not going to close the door on a pardon is simply this: that Scooter Libby may petition for one. But the president has done what he thinks is appropriate to resolve this case," Snow said.

The tumultuous briefing, punctuated by pointed questions from reporters and repeated explanations by Snow, came a day after the president's announcement sparked an uproar by critics claiming the move was another example of the Bush administration believing that it is above the law.


Filed under: Scooter Libby
July 3rd, 2007
10:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Libby decision hides truth, CIA operative's husband says

Watch Wilson's interview Tuesday on CNN's American Morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush's decision to spare I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from prison puts Bush himself under suspicion of a cover-up in the CIA leak case, the husband of the operative whose name was leaked said Tuesday.

"The president, by commuting Mr. Libby's sentence, has guaranteed that he will be under no incentive whatsoever to tell the truth," Joseph Wilson said on CNN's "American Morning." "I think there is a very real suspicion now that the president himself is an accessory to obstruction of justice in this matter."

Bush on Monday commuted the former White House aide's 30-month prison term. He left a $250,000 fine and two years' probation in place on Libby's sentence imposed after he was convicted in federal court of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators in the probe of the 2003 leak of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife.

Full story

Filed under: Scooter Libby
July 3rd, 2007
09:36 AM ET
9 years ago

Biden slams Bush in Iowa swing

Biden campaigned in Iowa Monday.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CNN) - Joe Biden kicked off his Fourth of July swing through Iowa with a harsh rebuke of the Bush administration’s conduct on international and domestic fronts.

The 2008 Democratic hopeful railed against the president’s decision to commute the prison sentence of former administration aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

“That is what you might call tone-deaf or brain-dead. One of the two,” Biden told the Iowa City audience. “When the war is going to hell in a handbasket , when our leadership around the world is literally on the balls of its heels instead of engaging in any uniting effort to bring the country together what does he do? He takes one of the most controversial political stands he could do to enrage the country. This is an administration beyond redemption in my view.”


Filed under: Iowa • Joe Biden • President Bush • Presidential Candidates • Race to '08 • Scooter Libby
July 2nd, 2007
06:57 PM ET
10 years ago

Libby commutation: Washington responds

Washington was quick to react to the Libby commutation Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Following are reactions to President Bush's announcement Monday that he has commuted the sentence of former vice presidential chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby:


Filed under: Scooter Libby
July 2nd, 2007
06:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Commutation computations


WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of former White House Lewis “Scooter” Libby marks the fourth time the president has exercised his power to reduce criminal sentences. Here’s where the president stands compared to other modern presidents, according to the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice.


Filed under: President Bush • Scooter Libby
July 2nd, 2007
12:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Appeals court rejects Libby's bid for bail

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal appeals court Monday rejected former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby's request to remain free on appeal after his March conviction on federal charges stemming from the leak of a CIA agent's identity.

Libby, once Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, faces a 30-month prison term after being convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal agents probing the 2003 exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, whose husband had become a critic of the war in Iraq.

A three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals found Libby has not raised a question for judges "that is 'close' or that 'could very well be decided the other way'" - the standard for remaining free on appeal.

Barring further appeals, Libby's term will start when the U.S. Bureau of Prisons decides where he will serve his time and sets a date for him to surrender. But his lawyers may appeal Monday's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which rarely intervenes in these kinds of cases.


Filed under: Scooter Libby
June 14th, 2007
03:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Where the GOP candidates stand on Libby

Which GOP candidates would pardon Libby?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Following the news that a judge has order I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to report to prison to serve his sentence while his attorneys appeal his case, the talk of Washington is likely to turn to whether President Bush will consider issuing the former White House aide a pardon.

At CNN's GOP presidential debate last week, the ten candidates were asked whether they would issue Libby a pardon if they were in the president's shoes. Four of the candidates said they likely would not, three said they likely would, and three said they would keep the option open.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, California Rep. Duncan Hunter, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee all responded “no,” or “no, not without looking at the transcript.”

Meanwhile, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo said flatly they would issue Libby a pardon. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leaned heavily toward pardoning Libby, adding, “I think the sentence was way out of line."

Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson all indicated they would keep the option open but would not say "yes" or "no" before the appeals process was carried out.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Scooter Libby
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