Scooter Libby Sentencing Preview

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby gets sentenced today. While the Government is asking for 30 to 37 months, the U.S. Probation Department calculated his sentencing guidelines at 15 to 21 months, and advised the Judge that departures from the Guidelines, which would result in a lower sentence, should be considered.

Among the reasons Libby is arguing for a lesser sentence:

  • His record of public service
  • His loss of his law license
  • His financial loss due to legal expenses. It appears he is also asking the court to consider the legal fees to be incurred with civil suits filed against him.
  • Non-likelihood of recidivism.
  • Aberrant Behavior (a single act or course of action in an otherwise unblemished life)

The 160 letters written by friends of Scooter will be released to the media after the sentencing.

Jane and Marcy will be on scene and live-blogging from the courthouse for Firedoglake. I recommend getting live coverage and updates from them, as I will be here in Denver and reacting to news as it's available, rather than reporting it firsthand.

My last prediction, which I have no reason to change, is here.


The Government loses on its sentencing arguments for heavier guideline calculations, the Court finds at least one departure ground and Libby gets a split sentence of 10 months, with 5 spent in prison and 5 on home detention.

Libby will be given a self-surrender date, probably some weeks away. The Judge should not be determining bail pending appeal tomorrow, as the Notice of Appeal and request for bail pending appeal won't have been filed. Those must be filed within ten days of sentencing. After they have been filed, the Judge will probably schedule a hearing on the request for an appeal bond.

So those hoping Libby gets taken out in handcuffs and chains tomorrow are bound to be disappointed.

Whatever jail time Libby gets will be life-changing for him. Club Feds aren't the same as they used to be.

It's one thing to want to hold people accountable for their misdeeds. It's another to wish them to serve overly punitive jail sentences.

I do believe Libby participated in a scheme to out Valerie Plame Wilson. But, I'd rather see that case get argued in the civil courts and the Wilsons recover money from Cheney, Libby and anyone else responsible. I see no need for a pound of flesh.

Update: A victory for Patrick Fitzgerald. Libby gets 30 months.

< Dishonest David Brooks Once Again | Sentencing Arguments Underway for Scooter Libby >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Sentencing (none / 0) (#1)
    by janinsanfran on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 12:24:16 AM EST
    I appreciate your consistency on this. Like you, I can't wish most anybody hard time. Some folks maybe one can hope were off the street, but mostly they need kinds of healing the penal system doesn't provide. Nothing provides....

    Not just a personal matter (none / 0) (#2)
    by ChrisL on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 02:28:14 AM EST
    Treating Libby's criminal acts as essentially a private matter between him (& Cheney) and the Wilson/Plames, to be best handled primarily in civil courts, is just wrong.  His actions were a piece of a wide pattern of abuses of power in the Bush administration that have put a large chunk of the best parts of our constitutional order in jeopardy.  Libby should not be allowed to be used by the bigger fish as a scapegoat, but the gravity of what he did and was part of should not be minimized either.  

    BTW, it is 12:09 a.m. Pacific daylight time here, which last I knew makes it 3:09 a.m. Eastern daylight time, so I'm curious, how did you manage to post this at 7:36 a.m. EST?  

    the time stame is ET (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:05:43 AM EST
    but I'm in Mountain Time.  I wrote this before going to bed last night and set the time stamp to what I thought was a.m. mountain time. Sorry for the confusion.