Trump Pardons Scooter Libby

President Bush granted Scooter Libby clemency so he didn't have to go to prison. Today, Donald Trump granted him a pardon.

Trump sounds like he knows nothing about the Scooter Libby case.

“I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Trump said in a White House statement, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.”

He's deciding pardons based on what he hears? Has he read any of the case filings, read the trial transcripts? I attended the trial as credentialed media and I didn't think he was treated unfairly. How is this a "very sad" situation? Because he has a felony conviction and can't practice law? When was the last time he practiced law?

Trump is sending a message to Republicans. What is it? [more...]

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the Libby pardon was Trump’s way “of sending a message to those implicated in the Russia investigation: You have my back and I’ll have yours.”

We'll probably see more bizarre actions by Trump as to allies and enemies of James Comey as the Russia investigation goes on.

< Wednesday Open Thread | Trump Granted Permission to "Intervene" in Cohen's Request for Restraining Order >
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    Joe Wilson says (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 02:10:53 PM EST
    he finds Trump to be a "vile and despicable individual" who is "utterly unacceptable as president."

    I couldn't agree more. Joe Wilson is my hero for today.

    Like everything else he's been involved (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 02:22:20 PM EST
    with, Trump makes a mockery of the whole pardon process; I mean, the least he could do was make it look like he'd actually studied the case, or drawn something from the fact that while Bush commuted Libby's sentence, he didn't pardon him.

    With respect to pardons for those charged or to be charged in the Mueller investigation, doesn't Trump have a problem if the pardons are a de fecto quid pro quo for not being implicated in crimes himself?  Isn't that just in furtherance of obstruction of justice?

    Isn't this the thing John Dowd could be in trouble for allegedly doing - treating pardons like bribes?

    Oh, well - I'm guessing Mike Pence will pardon Trump, unless Pence's wife forbids him from doing so because Trump is such an immoral POS.

    Among the 500 saddest aspects of this (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 02:32:37 PM EST
    presidential pretender's comprehensive and pervasive abuse of office is his failure to exercise the constitutional clemency power, as every previous President has done (some more and better than others, of course) to rectify the pervasive unfairness in the federal criminal justice system. The idea that "Scooter" Libby's sentence was more "unfair" or "sad" than any of about 50,000 federal prisoners serving excessive, multi-year sentences in routine drug and fraud cases is just facetious. I feel sick.

    well-said Peter (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 09:30:23 PM EST
    While I agree with you on the whole, (none / 0) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 11:46:46 PM EST
    my observation is that at this point in Obama's presidency (about 4 months in) he had pardoned/clemencied/etc., a grand total of no one. Zero. Zed. Nada.

    In fact it took him 2 years to pardon/clemency anyone at all.

    It's all politics, they all make me sick.


    True, President Obama (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by KeysDan on Sun Apr 15, 2018 at 11:18:05 AM EST
    was slow out of the gate.   However, the complete record, according to Pew Research, indicates that President Obama granted the highest level of clemency in 64 years---1,927 granted clemency, of these 1.715 were commutations and 217 were pardons.

     This was the highest clemency total granted since Harry Truman (in almost 8 years) who granted clemency 2,044 times, including 1.913 pardons, 118 commutations, and 13 remissions (reduction of financial penalties).

    These statistics exclude clemency through proclamations or executive orders such as actions taken by Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to forgive thousands of Vietnam-era draft dodgers.

    An initiative was commenced under President Obama to shorten prison terms for non violent federal inmates convicted of drug crimes. Moreover, the federal prison population fell during the Obama Administratin, a distinction since Jimmy Carter--the federal prison population increased significantly under every other president.

    It is easy to fall into bothsiderism--- but often fallacious and dangerous, resulting in a Trump.


    I have this (none / 0) (#29)
    by leap on Sun Apr 15, 2018 at 11:51:34 AM EST
    bumpersticker on my car. Via one of my very favorite podcasts

    I know it is enough to make you dizzy (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 15, 2018 at 12:49:28 PM EST
    and confused, but we are not "about 4 months in"; we are about 16 months in.

    Ha. Yep, 1 year + 4 months, not 4 months. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 16, 2018 at 12:06:00 PM EST
    How time flies. Carry on...

    Patti Blagojevich was on Carlson (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 17, 2018 at 01:47:57 AM EST
    tonight just before Hannity saying she was hoping to make a pitch to Trump to pardon Rod. Rod and Trump seemed to get along will when Rod was on Celebrity Apprentice, and that horrid after-series, show "I'm a celebrity get me out of here." (Janice Dickenson was on it too.)Patti may be the best thing Rod has going for him. He did geT an unfairly high sentence in my view.

    For context (none / 0) (#33)
    by Peter G on Tue Apr 17, 2018 at 11:21:09 AM EST
    Blago's final Supreme Court petition was denied yesterday without comment or dissent (as is normal). I did think he actually had a decent issue, but the Court didn't bite.

    I wish I could be angry at Trump over this. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 03:21:02 PM EST
    "Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow."
    - T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men (1925)

    But honestly, I'm way beyond that because in this instance, as in so many things of late, it's simply par for Trump's course. Rather, I'm sad and frightened for our country.

    Whereas, my fury is rightly directed toward those Republicans who are enabling Trump's behavior through their increasingly desperate rationalizations, and those members of the media who treat this horrific political clusterphuque as little more than public spectacle, in which they vicariously entertain the masses by egging on America's Corporate Clown to even greater heights of manufactured outrage.

    What we are witnessing unfold here is nothing short of a national tragedy.

    He was nailed (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 04:47:01 PM EST
    By a person appointed by James Comey.

    There's that.

    Maybe Bolton made it part of his deal.   He is said to be a big Scooter Booster.

    I wonder if any of Trumps supporters are capable of appreciating the head snapping irony of Trump calling Comey a "slimeball" for leaking to the press and pardoning Libby for doing the same thing the same day?


    And (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 04:48:31 PM EST
    Victoria Toensing was his lawyer.  

    toensing was his lawyer for the pardon (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 09:54:23 PM EST
    not one of his trial lawyers.

    When I've heard that today (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 10:07:02 PM EST
    They did not make that distinction.  That actually makes even more sense.  At least in the context of Trump world

    Yes, and while I (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 05:17:49 PM EST
    am not a great fan of Comey (cf. Clinton emails), all the tut tutting about Comey coming down to the level of Trump puts an overdose of irony in the blood.   Yes, never use Trump as a role model, or you will be criticized.  The slimeball is, essentially, patented (or patently) Trump.

    I happened to catch Mark Shields on PBS.. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by desertswine on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 06:33:59 PM EST
    last night who said...   Donald Trump thought Scooter Libby was a shortstop for the Houston Astros until this week.

    Good one DS. (none / 0) (#26)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 11:49:13 PM EST
    Especially since (none / 0) (#27)
    by fishcamp on Sun Apr 15, 2018 at 08:27:49 AM EST
    Scooter Rizzuto played for the Yankees as shortstop his entire career.  Why do we have such a stupid President?

    Libby's law license was reinstated in 2016 (none / 0) (#5)
    by linea on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 04:46:22 PM EST
    Scooter Libby was convicted of `process crimes' - one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and one count of making false statements. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals granted Libby's petition for reinstatement to the D.C. Bar in 2016.

    "Process crimes" - heh (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Yman on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 07:19:47 PM EST
    Sounds so much nicer than felonies.

    Wonder if anyone thinks using that label makes them sound less serious than other crimes ....


    thanks, I forgot or didn't know that (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 09:50:54 PM EST
    But the Washington Post reports:

    In Libby's 14-page petition to the court's Board on Professional Responsibility, Libby agrees that the charges for which he was convicted are "serious offenses that undermine our system of justice."

    But Libby, 66, "maintains that he was innocent of those offenses," according to his attorney, William Jeffress Jr.

    p. When he was stripped of his license in 2008, the D.C. Court of Appeals wrote:

    "When a member of the bar is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, disbarment is mandatory," the appeals court ruled.

    CNN reported:

    "When convictions on more than one count are involved, disbarment is mandated if any one of them involves moral turpitude," the court added.

    The pardon makes even less sense now.  A pardon is not a proclamation of factual innocence. IIt wipes out his conviction and allows him to say on employment and housing applications he's never been convicted of a crime. Like he would be filling one of those out anyway?


    that last paragraph (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 09:51:51 PM EST
    was by me, not CNN. The CNN quote was only as to what the Court said.

    Apparently, Libby's (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 05:14:39 PM EST
    pardon was an Oval Office initiative (Trump's Counsel) and not by petition through the DOJ.  While the president has Article 2 power to pardon, he, once again, bypassed norms.

    If a message, it is crafty, in that he is not now dangling pardons over the heads of the likes of Michael Cohen.  The telephone call by Trump to Cohen after the raids on his residences/office to check in, supposedly,  was bad enough, on the way to additional obstruction of justice charges.

    My bad for turning on Chris Matthews and (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 07:03:38 PM EST
    learning that the worst thing about pardoning Libby is that Trump promised his supporters during the campaign that he was against all the wars of the Bush administration, and now he pardons Libby!!!!

    Oh the poor betrayed Trump supporters!!!!

    I'm so tired (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 13, 2018 at 08:47:46 PM EST
    of hearing about the poor beleagured Trump supporters. We have had reams and reams of news articles on them but yet the majority of people who voted for Hillary are basically ignored. That's fine. We're not talking to the press but we are getting busy with doing a lot of work organizing etc.

    Thinking about Matthews harping on that (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 03:54:49 PM EST
    ...not the first time he has done so...I am convinced he voted for Trump. His HRC disdain is legendary, and I can easily see him thinking like those Trump voters.

    Yeah, he wanted (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 05:24:56 PM EST
    to give her a date rape drug or something. I mean these people are disgusting.

    Yes, and I think (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 06:02:28 PM EST
    the NYTimes and others are running out of diners to interview these Scranton-ish economically anxious workers.

    Can't stand to watch Matthews. (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 04:12:54 PM EST
    Don't have much use for Chuck Todd, either.

    Same network, two different characters. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 07:42:29 PM EST
    Chris Matthews is sexist and uncouth, whereas Chuck Todd is ingratiating and shallow. The former regularly offends my innate sense of dignity and decorum, while the latter almost never fails to insult my intelligence.

    Todd (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 05:26:30 PM EST
    is a total and complete tool. He could do numbers but he's horrible on anything else. He's a living example of the Peter Principle.