Patrick Fitzgerald Weighs In on Scooter Libby Commutation

This just in. Patrick Fitzgerald has issued this statement on President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence. He takes no position on the commutation, but criticizes Bush's characterization of the sentence as excessive:

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as
equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.”


As I said here

I wonder how Judge Reggie Walton feels about this. I'm also struck by Bush's hypocrisy over sentencing issues. He complains in his statement that Judge Walton disregarded the Probation Department's recommendation for a below guideline sentence which could have resulted in home detention or probation. Yet just this month he sent the Justice Department minions to Congress urging they increase the number of mandatory minimum offenses which would preclude judges from exercising that option. Hypocrisy, thy name is Bush.

< Scooter Libby Commutation, Part Two | The DOJ Manual on Commutation >
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    Judy Miller (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by desertwind on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 08:03:16 PM EST
    has certainly found out for whom the aspens turn together and it ain't she.

    3 months was it that she sat in the hoosgow?

    Fitzgerald (1.00 / 4) (#4)
    by jarober on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 09:08:34 PM EST
    Fitzgerald is as bad as Starr was.  If Plame was undercover, as the entire left seems to believe, then why wasn't the actual leaker - Armitage - indicted?

    Maybe one of you lawyers could ask him that.

    This has been explained to you several times (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 09:13:30 PM EST
    This has been explained to you several times

    At least try contributing newer rightwing talking points. We are all bored with this one.


    Sigh (1.00 / 3) (#6)
    by jarober on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 09:38:42 PM EST
    Either Armitage committed a crime (Plame was covert), or he didn't (she wasn't).  Pick one.  The fact that Fitzgerald didn't go after Armitage should tell you something about that (and not that Libby obstructed it - he didn't obstruct that in the least).

    As to the Perjury charge, going after Libby for perjury is every bit as lame as going after Clinton was for the Lewinsky thing.  In neither case was the perjury related to the thing the prosecutor was supposed to be investigating - in the case of Fitzgerald, he knew that Armitage was the leaker.

    He decided to keep at it until he could nail someone for something.  Libby was who he found.  Which is every bit as lame as getting Clinton on Lewinsky was.

    Just for you, one more time (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 10:05:38 PM EST
    1. Perjury and obstruction of justice are appropriate charges where the facts warrant it.
    2. Libby was convicted at his trial.
    3. President Clinton was found not guilty of perjury  at the only trial he was given (removal after impeachment) and yes perjury was one of the charges.
    4. Perjury requires more than a mere lie. It has to be material. Lying about consensual sex is not material to a charge involving non-consensual sex. Libby, OTOH made material lies about what he told and to whom regarding Plame's status. There was nothing lame about charging him with perjury.

    To my knowledge, there is no evidence that Armitage knew Plame's covert status. Not charging him under the IIPA was a valid exercise in prosecutorial discreation. The fact that Armitage was a leaker, doesn't make him THE ONLY leaker. nor does it preclude anyone else from being charged.

    Now, run along, check your fax machine and see if you have any new rightwing talking points to contribute. These are old and stale and boring as well.


    Armitage is GUILTY! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 10:22:38 PM EST
    Put Scooter in jail and throw Armitage in with him.

    You are too funny. Literally writing utter nonsense that has no connection to reality.


    MB (1.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 10:26:54 PM EST
    Glad to see your point about multiple leakers. This is from: the Woodward - Armitage interview in which Armitage spilled the beans.

    Woodward: Well it was Joe Wilson who was sent by the agency, isn't it?

    Armitage: His wife works for the agency.

    Woodward: Why doesn't that come out? Why does that have to be a big secret?

    Armitage: (over) Everybody knows it.

    Woodward: Everyone knows?

    Armitage: Yeah. And they know 'cause Joe Wilson's been calling everybody. He's pissed off 'cause he was designated as a low level guy went out to look at it. So he's all pissed off.

    Now let's see. Woodward wants to know why Wilson's wife is such a big secret.

    And Armitage says Wilson is calling everybody.

    Now. If Wilson is calling the world, just how many indictments does the SP need??

    And if Wilson is calling the world, and since he must know his wife is covert... Did he violate the law??? Of course if she wasn't then Wilson didn't and Armitage didn't...

    Amitage Is trustworthy? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by TomStewart on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:48:30 AM EST
    Jim, are we to believe the Armitage is telling the truth? He sounds to me like a guy who is trying to smear someone he doesn't like and will say anything that puts him (Wilson) in a bad light. Backstabbing office gas, but on a dangerous scale.

    So far, there had been NO evidence that Wilson was blowing his wife's cover, and the right has been beating the bushes for years to find some. Since you bring it up, you must have some evidence, so give Fitz a call, I'm sure he'd be happy to hear it.


    TomStewart (1.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 09:36:24 AM EST
    That's an excellent question, and one that should have been investigated thoroughly. Especially into whether or not he was accurate with his comment regarding Wilson "calling everybody."

    Why? Because if accurate that proves the charge that Wilson outed his wife.

    Consider this. Woodward wants to know why it's a "big secret" that his wife works for the CIA, and Armitage responds... "Everybody knows."

    Now this would be mid June 2003, a month before Wilson's NYT article, and well before the fireworks started. In otherwords, Armitage had no reason to lie.

    Armitage further expanded his comment by saying:

    Yeah. And they know 'cause Joe Wilson's been calling everybody. He's pissed off 'cause he was designated as a low level guy went out to look at it. So he's all pissed off.

    This is important because he gives, if truthful, a motive for what Wilson is doing. His wife sent him  on what he has come to see a low level mission, quite beneath him, and now no one is paying attention to his claim. Ah, ego does gets us all, eh??

    I assume you wouldn't be caught dead reading World Net Daily, but I find this interesting:


    Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely (said) Wilson mentioned Plame's status as a CIA employee over the course of at least three, possibly five, conversations in 2002 in the (FNC) "green room"  as they waited to appear on air as analysts.

    "He was rather open about his wife working at the CIA," said Vallely, who retired in 1991 as the Army's deputy commanding general in the Pacific.

    Vallely made his claim in an interview Thursday night on the ABC radio network's John Batchelor show.

    Was Valley put under oath and questioned?? If not, why not? His comments provide a second source as to what Wilson may have done..

    Valley further noted:

    Vallely said, citing CIA colleagues, that in addition to his conversations with Wilson, the ambassador was proud to introduce Plame at cocktail parties and other social events around Washington as his CIA wife.

    "That was pretty common knowledge," he said. "She's been out there on the Washington scene many years."

    So. Did Armitage lie? Did Valley lie?

    And if not, wouldn't Wilson have known that his wife was covert??

    There are many, many, many questions that haven't been answered. That is why I think Libby should never have neen indicted, and now why I want to see a full pardon.

    If Congress wants hearings, fine. I just hope this time we can get Wilson, Armitage and Valley under oath. I'd like to hear what they have to say.


    I agree.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by TomStewart on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 11:16:49 PM EST
    Put them all under oath, but, as we saw withe the Scooter case, that doesn't mean we;ll get the truth. I also read (I can't remember where, dang it) that Valley has gone back on what he said, and change the location several tiems. I'll check the mighty internet for the links.

    Yes, But (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 08:57:30 PM EST
    Mattress got paid, had her legal fees paid for, martyr status (in her mind)  and also, was able to work while in prison. I am sure that she wrote a boook and will profit financially from the experience.

    Although I  believe that she married rich. She went out to the Hamptons to find an older very rich and powerful husband and was successful.

    It was working for her in a way that it wouldn't for Libby, besides it doesn't matter because the decider and co., can do whatever they want.

    Whose Gonna Stop Them (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 09:01:41 PM EST
    Nhaneeh, nhneeh, nhnenaeh, nhnaanah.....

    What a joke.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 08:53:24 AM EST
    What planet is Fitzgerald from where all are equal under the law?

    That always has been, and always will be, a fairy tale with no basis in reality.