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Bush commutes Libby's prison sentence


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Kristina
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« on: July 02, 2007, 07:02:33 pm »

Bush commutes Libby's prison sentence
Story Highlights
White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby faced 30 months in prison

Libby will not serve that sentence but will pay $250,000 fine

Libby convicted in relation to investigation into 2003 leak of CIA operative's identity

Bush called 30 months in prison "excessive
"
 
     
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush commuted Monday the prison term of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, facing 30 months in prison after a federal court convicted him of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators.




Bush commuted the jail sentence of convicted White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

 A commutation is distinct from a pardon, which is a complete eradication of a conviction record -- making it the same as if the person has never been convicted.

Bush has only commuted the jail term which means that the conviction remains on Libby's record and he must still pay a $250,000 fine.

Commutations are rarely granted, says CNN's chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. A commutation is a total right of the president and it cannot be challenged by any attorney or court, he said.

Earlier Monday, a federal appeals court unanimously ruled that Libby could not delay serving his sentence, which would have put Libby just weeks away from surrendering to a prison.

In a written statement commuting the jail sentence, issued hours after Monday's ruling, Bush called the sentence "excessive," and suggested that Libby will pay a big enough price for his conviction.

"The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting," Bush said.

He said Libby was given "a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury."


But the commutation does nothing to prevent Libby from appealing his conviction. And if the appeal fails or is still in process at the end of Bush's term, there is nothing to prevent the President from granting Libby a full pardon before he leaves office.

Libby's conviction is linked to the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

An outraged Joe Wilson, Plame's husband, spoke to CNN shortly after the ruling. The former ambassador had openly questioned the Bush administration's basis for invading Iraq.

He and his wife contend her name was leaked to the media as retribution for Wilson's comments.

"I have nothing to say to Scooter Libby," Wilson said. "I don't owe this administration. They owe my wife and my family an apology for having betrayed her. Scooter Libby is a traitor."

Wilson also said Bush's action today demonstrates that the White House is "corrupt from top to bottom."

Plame's name became public when Robert Novak named her in his column on July 14, 2003.

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has admitted he disclosed the information to a reporter. Novak pointed to another "senior administration official" -- Bush political adviser Karl Rove -- as the second source for his column.

No one has been charged with leaking classified information in the case, but a jury found Libby guilty of trying to deceive investigators and a grand jury as to what went on.

Bush was under great pressure to grant a pardon to Libby.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair.


Polls suggest the American public may not be happy with Libby's commutation.

A CNN/opinion Research Corporation poll taken in March asked if Bush should pardon Libby. Sixty-nine percent said no, 18 percent said yes. E-mail to a friend


http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/02/libby.sentence/index.html
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Kristina
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2007, 07:22:17 pm »

The United States officially became a monarchy today when Bush made this decision.  The message being?  You can commit obstruction of justice (the very charge they bantered about during the Clinton impeachment) and treason (outing a CIA agent is legally considered treason), provided that you are a "friend" of the President.

Doing this, of course, spares Libby any prison time (and, of course, the potential that he will "come clean" and implicate Cheney and Bush's role in this should he get cold feet once he went to prison).

Libby still has a $250,000 fine to pay but he has plenty of rich friends who will take care of that for him (a legal fund headed by Republican candidate Fred Thompson has already paid his legal bills).

Let us not forget the underlying chronology of this (and I'll simplify it for everyone):

The Bush Administration went to war with Iraq in March 2003, citing Saddam buying WMDs from Nigeria as a premise (during the 2003 State of the Union).

In July of 2003, Ambassador Joe Wilson wrote an Op Ed piece stating that he had investigated the WMD claim and that it was groundless.

In typical Bush Administration retaliation against those they deemed to be "disloyal," they outed his wife, covert CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, who identified her later that month in his column (a column meant to discredit Joe Wilson's claims).

In the ensuing investigation, Libby lied to a Grand Jury (seemingly in order to protect Cheney and Rove), he was tried before a jury of his peers, sentenced by a Bush-appointed judge, and was headed off to prison shortly.

It is also worth noting that Fred Thompson voted for Clinton's impeachment (again based on an obstruction of justice charge) while roundly supports this pardoning. All the other Republican Presidential candidates said they would do the same.  These people have no shame. And all they stand for is cronyism and corruption, not the rule of the law.

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KTCat
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 04:19:25 pm »

Hear, hear! I'll second that in spades!
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Bianca
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 05:16:58 pm »






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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2007, 07:19:54 pm »

 Smiley
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Byron
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2007, 07:25:42 pm »

Bill Clinton blasts commutation of Libby's prison sentence

Story Highlights
Bill and Hillary Clinton campaigned in Iowa for the July Fourth holiday

On radio, ex-president said Libby case differed from his own pardon controversy

He said it's "wrong that no one was ever fired" from White House in CIA leak case

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, convicted of lying to federal agents, won't serve time
Next Article in Politics »



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




The Clintons campaign at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Monday.

 "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."

President Bush on Monday commuted Libby's 30-month sentence for perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents investigating the 2003 exposure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Bush's order keeps Libby's conviction on his record, but he called Libby's prison sentence "excessive" and suggested that Libby will pay a big enough price for his conviction.

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.

Clinton's wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, is now seeking the presidency and has been campaigning in Iowa during the Independence Day holiday. She put him on the phone during a Tuesday interview with Iowa political columnist David Yepsen.  Watch Hillary Clinton address a crowd in Iowa »

Libby was Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff before his October 2005 indictment. He was not accused of leaking Plame's identity, but prosecutors argued his false statements hindered their investigation of the disclosure and left a "cloud" over the White House.

The leak occurred shortly after Plame's husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had gone public with allegations that the Bush administration "twisted" intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq.


Rich fled to Switzerland in the 1980s to avoid racketeering, tax evasion and fraud charges stemming from oil trades with Iran.

Libby, who represented Rich from 1985 to 2000, told a House committee in 2001 that prosecutors "misconstrued the facts and the law" in pursuing the tax evasion charges.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/04/clinton.libby/index.html
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Byron
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2007, 07:35:04 pm »

I hear all the right wingers out there trying to compare this pardon with Clinton's pardon of Mark Rich.

There is a big difference between Mark Rich and Scooter Libby (who, incidentally was Mark Rich's attorney at the time).

In the first place, Mark Rich was simply a rich guy who didn't pay his taxes. That might be unseemly for a rich guy, but does it affect national security?

"Nope."

The tax laws in the U.S. are too harsh anyway, believe me the U.S. takes in (and consequentially wastes) a lot of our money.

Libby's obstruction of justice charge and the original crime, the outing of Valerie Plame, not only ruined her career, it compromised national security, and most likely got some of the agents she was working with overseas killed.  There's a reason why they call it "treason."

Do the Bushies care? 

"Nope," because their allegiances are to the big corporations that they make money for, not America. 

I wonder, will Congress ever have the balls to impeach these crooks?

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Bianca
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2007, 08:08:45 pm »


Hello, Byron,

Good to see you !!!    You liked the picture, eh?

Love and hugs,
b
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2007, 03:18:11 pm »

July 6, 2007
Poll: Majority disapprove of the Libby commutation

 A majority of Americans disapprove of Libby’s commutation, according to a new poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A majority of Americans and nearly half of all Republicans disapprove of President Bush’s commutation of Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s 30-month prison sentence, according to a new American Research Group poll out Friday.

Fully 64 percent of all Americans and 69 percent of voters said they disapproved of the commutation in the new poll. Broken down by party affiliation, 76 percent of Democrats, 47 percent of Republicans, and 80 percent of Independents said they disapproved.

Meanwhile, 84 percent of all adults and 84 percent of voters said they oppose a full presidential pardon for Libby. Broken down by party, 82 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Republicans, and 97 percent of Independents oppose a pardon.

Defending his decision to grant Libby clemency, Bush indicated on Tuesday he hasn’t ruled out granting the former White House aide a full pardon.

“I made a judgment, a considered judgment, and I believe it’s the right decision to make in this case. I stand by it,” Bush said. “As to the future, I rule nothing in and nothing out,” he said as he left a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center.

Libby’s prison time was imposed after a federal court convicted Libby of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators in the probe of the leak of the name of a CIA operative.

A commutation is distinct from a pardon, which is a complete eradication of a conviction record and makes it the same as if the person has never been convicted.

The poll, conducted on July 3-5, interviewed 1,100 adults and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

– CNN
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Byron
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2007, 01:19:38 am »


Hello, Byron,

Good to see you !!!    You liked the picture, eh?

Love and hugs,
b

I sure did, Bianca, and it's good to see you, too!

It would be funnier if these people weren't so perverse and disgusting, wouldn't it?
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