Scooter Libby, Bush official, pardoned by Trump for obstruction of justice

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"I don't know Mr. Libby", Trump said, "but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly". Hopefully, this full pardon may definitely help a part of his entire life.

Apart from all that, an added sweetness attaches to the Libby pardon.

As if to drive home his point, Trump made no serious attempt to address Libby's case.

The pardon was the third for Trump.

Still others view it as an ominous sign as indictments continue to grow in Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Trump knows the attorneys and had sought to add them to his legal team in the Russian investigation, but it was determined diGenova and Toensing had conflicts of interest that would prevent them from joining.

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Democrats immediately criticised the president's move, drawing an arc running from the Iraq war to today and linking the Libby pardon to Trump's bitter feud with James Comey, who Trump fired as FBI director a year ago, and to a widening investigation of possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. One side wanted to use Scooter Libby as a step ladder to reach up and pull down someone higher.

Should Trump continue to consolidate power, the presidential pardon may again be used as a reward.

In his own book, Bush said he was taken aback by the harshness of the remark. "I anxious that the friendship we had built was about to be severely tested". He was lobbied aggressively by Cheney, and his refusal was said to have caused a strain in the relationship between the two men. Libby served as chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney. Bob McDonnell restored his voting rights in 2013.

A pardon grants forgiveness for a crime, not exoneration, but many see it as removing the stigma of a conviction.

The prosecutor in Libby's case was Patrick Fitzgerald, a long-time friend of former FBI Director James Comey. Comey later became head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation but was sacked by Trump in 2017 and has since written a book highly critical of the president. "He is a vile and despicable individual who is undermining the democracy of our country", Wilson told MSNBC in an interview with host Katy Tur Friday. That was taken as proof that Libby must of have raised Plame's work at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Plame's identity had been revealed to journalist Robert Novak by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, according to Fox News.

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"Perjury before a grand jury is a pardonable offense. Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury in a fair trial", Plame said in a statement.

"Suffice to say, he's thrilled", she said of Libby, who she said had just gotten out of an MRI. And the judge in sentencing him called the evidence "overwhelming".

Libby was convicted of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2007. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, in a briefing with reporters, said on Friday that the pardon had nothing to do with Trump's views on Mueller's investigation.

But issuing pardons, as a general matter, is not.

That was a charge supported by the Trump Justice Department - until the president pardoned him. George W. Bush wasn't one of them.

President George W. Bush later commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence but did not issue a pardon despite intense pressure from Mr Cheney. Three years later, he was cleared to practice law again after the District of Columbia Court of Appeals reinstated him to the D.C. Bar.

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Mr. Fitzgerald, who had the classified file of Ms. Plame's service, withheld her State Department cover from Ms. Miller-and from Mr. Libby's lawyers, who had requested Ms. Plame's employment history. Mr Trump has called that probe a "witch hunt".

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