President Trump is poised to pardon Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, POTUS has signed off on the pardon, which is something he has been considering for several months, sources told @ABC News – via @jonkarl @KFaulders & me https://t.co/PHb0Y8Rlc1
— John Santucci (@JTSantucci) April 13, 2018
Or so — in conjunction with Paul Ryan’s run for the exits — I have to assume. They no longer have any interest in defending the current Oval Office occupants, just in pushing through whatever convenient pardons and legal shortcuts can be managed before the collapse. There will be pushback on a Libby pardon, media attention to the high crimes & misdemeanors of the Bush Regency crime cartel for which Libby took his fall, and (apart from pwning the libs) no immediate upside for Donald J. Trump, Oval Office Occupant. Since Donny Dollhand has never been one to do a favor without promise of immediate reciprocation, presumably the GOP has promised him something of value in return. Ceremonial burning of the much-discussed pee tape? Cancellation of all his many debts? Pallets of gold bullion and a safe escape flight to a Sevastopol hideaway, or the rumored Bush family compound in Paraguay?…
Per the NYTimes, because they’re the experts on the delicate handling of sensitive topics for plutocrats and other Republicans:
Mr. Libby’s case has long been a cause for conservatives who maintained that he was a victim of a special prosecutor run amok, an argument that may have resonated with the president. Mr. Trump has repeatedly complained that the special counsel investigation into possible cooperation between his campaign and Russia in 2016 has gone too far and amounts to an unfair “witch hunt.”
Mr. Libby, who goes by Scooter, was convicted of four felonies in 2007 for perjury before a grand jury, lying to F.B.I. investigators and obstruction of justice during an investigation into the disclosure of the work of Valerie Plame Wilson, a C.I.A. officer. President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libby’s 30-month prison sentence but refused to grant him a full pardon despite the strenuous requests of Mr. Cheney, a decision that soured the relationship between the two men.
A pardon of Mr. Libby would paradoxically put Mr. Trump in the position of absolving one of the chief architects of the Iraq war, which Mr. Trump has denounced as a catastrophic miscalculation. It would also mean he was forgiving a former official who was convicted in a case involving leaks despite Mr. Trump’s repeated inveighing against those who disclose information to reporters.
Critics of Mr. Trump quickly interpreted the prospective pardon as a signal by the president that he would protect those who refuse to turn on their bosses, as Mr. Libby was presumed not to have betrayed Mr. Cheney. Mr. Trump has not ruled out pardons in the Russia investigation.
Mr. Trump has shown no particular interest in Mr. Libby’s case before. In 2015, during his campaign for the White House, Mr. Trump was asked if he would pardon Mr. Libby and declined to say, calling it an irrelevant issue. It was unclear when Mr. Trump would issue the pardon, which was first reported by ABC News…
The case tested the limits of journalistic independence. Judith Miller, then a reporter for The Times, went to prison for 85 days rather than disclose that Mr. Libby had discussed Ms. Wilson with her. She was freed after Mr. Libby released her from any promise of confidentiality…
The case has its connections to Mr. Trump because Mr. Fitzgerald was friends with James B. Comey, who was then the deputy attorney general who assigned him the investigation after the attorney general recused himself. Mr. Cheney long suspected that Mr. Comey was taking revenge for a dispute between them over the legality of a surveillance program…
(I blame it all on the Republicans who advised Gerry Ford to pardon Nixon back in 1974. Without a public examination of all the CREEPster crimes, its perpetrators were free to reemerge repeatedly over the last forty years, trailing foul clouds of treason and financial impropriety every time.)
The president has already signed off on the pardon, which is something he has been considering for several months, sources told ABC News. https://t.co/b5WsELT755
— Courtney Norris (@courtneyknorris) April 13, 2018
As @maddow just noted, crimes for which Scooter Libby was convicted include lying to the FBI, and obstruction of justice. Perhaps this is Trump setting us up to be prepared for pardons for Flynn, Manafort, and all the others. https://t.co/AOUQltOsbF
— 𝕏𝕖𝕟𝕚 𝕁𝕒𝕣𝕕𝕚𝕟 (@xeni) April 13, 2018
Bolton is assembling a war cabinet of former neo-cons.
— jon (@EmsBkPilot) April 13, 2018