Prelude For Pardons Yet To Come? Trump To Pardon Scooter Libby

LEWIS LIBBY PORTRAITPresident Donald Trump has reportedly signed a full pardon for Scooter J. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Given the conviction for allegations against Libby, it is hard not to draw an analogy to figures like Michael Flynn or even Michael Cohen.

Libby was convicted in 2007 of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice in the investigation into the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame, a former covert CIA agent.  Notably, President George Bush refused Cheney’s effort to secure a pardon. He felt it was inappropriate since Libby falsely told the FBI that he could not have been the source for the Plame leak due to the late date of his learning about her identity.  Later, witnesses came forward to contradict Libby and reveal that he told them about her identity long before the date he gave the FBI for when he first learned the information.

Instead of a full pardon, Bush commuted Libby’s 30-month sentence so he never had to go to prison.  Libby later had his law license restored.

There is a growing concern that Trump could attempt to derail the Special Counsel investigation with pardons for his former associates.  This concern is particularly great with regard to Michael Cohen.  However, we still do not know what evidence of criminal conduct was referred to the Southern District of New York involving Cohen.  The closest analogy to Libby’s case would be Michael Flynn. Indeed, Flynn is in a better position since Comey’s investigators reportedly concluded that he did not intend to mislead the FBI in denying that he discussed sanctions with Russian diplomats during the transition period.

The Libby pardon does serve to remind people that other presidents used this power to protect their former aides.  Could it be a prelude of pardons to come?

 

219 thoughts on “Prelude For Pardons Yet To Come? Trump To Pardon Scooter Libby

  1. Cohen said he’d take a bullet for Trump- sounded a little dramatic at the time.
    Arthur Snell was prophetic months ago, in his “How to Read the Trump Dossier”, at the London Review of Books.

  2. Looks like Michael Cohen was in Prague despite his multiple denials, confirming another key element of the Steele memos.

    By god, I think the pee tape may turn out to be real.

  3. Now, That’s what you call draining the swamp. What’s next making Dick Cheney a 4 star general? Naw, I’m sure he has some guy with a russian sounding name for that post. Putin for the Presidential Freedom Medal?

  4. This is not complicated. Trump uses the pardon power the same way he determines policy, usually in a fit of anger. Don’t like undocumented immigrants? Pardon Arpaio. Upset with the intelligence community? Pardon Scooter Libby.

    Immigration policy is formulated in the same manner. Don’t like the “wretched refuse of your teeming shores’? Let’s encourage more Nordic immigration. After all, most of the tired, poor, wretched masses yearning to be free come from those annoying sh*thole countries.Unhappy with Muslims? Simple, promulgate an executive order banning anyone from coming in from any Muslim country that doesn’t launder millions of dollars through American businesses.Hate Mexicans (especially those judges with Hispanic surnames who presume to provide over your cases)? Well, let’s build a wall. That’ll teach ’em. And let’s be honest, most of these undesirables are black or brown or a close variation anyway. White people have suffered enough. A little xenophobia never hurt anyone.

    And when it comes to foreign policy, why in the world would any sane person want to waste time reading ponderous position papers from pointy-headed career diplomats or intelligence analyses by those Deep State creeps who are out to get you? You know who your friends are; everyone else you can threaten on Twitter. If your mood changes later today, you can always just tweet something different.

    Of course, sometimes anger and resentment are not enough. Then it’s useful to pander. All those theology graduates of the Billy Joe Bob School of Bible and Beauty Culture who comprise your group of religious advisers need some end-times action. Voila! Let’s move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The hell with treaties and international law. It’s better to solidify the support of the righteous and self-righteous alike and bring us all nearer our God to Thee. Need to pump up the coal industry? With a few strokes of the pen we can get rid of those rules that have burdened us all because the liberal elite pansies get sooo upset over a dirty air or poisoned water. We had almost forgotten the lovely glow of the Cuyahoga River ablaze.And loosening up those ridiculous mine safety regulations (shoot, we weren’t enforcing them anyway-they were just a nuisance) will get those workers back underground where they belong. They love you in West Virginia and Joe Manchin is toast.

    Remember, the voters weren’t looking for someone who thinks. We wanted a man of action, someone who takes what he wants, whether it’s advantage or a woman. Someone who thinks and speaks like us. We wanted someone who can take control and run this country like his own close corporation. We wanted a moral slob, and by God we got one.

    That’s all I have to say for now. I need to go check some recipes on how to make soup from raw soybeans. I think they’re on sale.

    • Mike do you think “he determines policy, usually in a fit of anger.” is the reason for our econonomy doing so well? I think there is a bit too much hyperbole in what you say. If all policy was performed based on a fit of anger, Mueller and Rosenstein would have been gone long ago. Same for much of the rest of what you have said here. Very hyperbolic.

      • Without the essential hyperbole, what else is there to use as ammo against facts.

        Clearly the American public education system should never have given short shrift to debate electives in favor of “feel good/safe space” classes like gender studies.

        • David Garner, in the past I had a discussion with (I think MIle A. an attorney) and he appeared quite level headed. I’m not sure if this is the same person based on this hyperbolic statement.

          The Rule of Law: 1. If the facts are against you, argue the law. 2. If the law is against you, argue the facts. 3. If the facts and the law are against you forget everything you know and use hyperbole.

          • Yes, a well-worn commentary from someone during my first year at GW. I rather like this one:

            “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” (John Adams, Argument in Defense of the British Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials, Dec. 4, 1770)

    • Ralph, Ben Garrison draws extremely well.

      Content wise it’s usually absolute horseshit, but he is a good artist.

      Cordially, Bill

  5. Jeff Sessions, “…a dupe which will live in infamy.”

    Where are you, Jeff?

    Time to fire the participants in the coup and to resign.

    You know, historically, the Japanese who lost their honor used to commit Hari Kari.

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