Report: Trump to Pardon Scooter Libby

Sources say full pardon to Dick Cheney's ex-chief of staff is imminent
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2018 5:03 AM CDT
Report: Scooter Libby Next to Nab a Trump Pardon
Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby outside federal court in Washington in this 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

President Trump appears about to set a second potentially controversial pardon in motion, sources tell ABC News and the New York Times. Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to ex-VP Dick Cheney, will be the next to see a presidential reprieve, with a pardon greenlit by Trump after he mulled it over for a few months. Then-President George W. Bush had granted a commutation for Libby in 2007 after he was convicted for perjury, obstruction of justice, and other charges related to the leak on CIA operative Valerie Plame. What may have struck a chord with Trump in Libby's case: the fact that Libby was painted by conservatives as being the victim of a rogue special prosecutor, which is similar to how some in conservative circles are framing the Robert Mueller investigation swirling around Trump (the Washington Post dives deeper into other similarities).

If a pardon for Libby is indeed in the works, it would be just over seven months since Trump pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Times notes some are wondering if a Libby pardon would be meant as a signal from Trump that he'd look out for those who stayed loyal to him, as Libby was believed to have done for Cheney—especially as Libby hasn't been a name Trump has previously stumped for. In fact, while campaigning in 2015, Trump called it an "irrelevant" issue. If the Libby pardon comes to fruition, it would be Trump's third since taking office: Besides Arpaio, he also pardoned Navy sailor Kristian Saucier last month, and he commuted in December the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, the ex-owner of the country's largest kosher meat-processing factory. No word yet on when this Libby pardon could come. (Read more Lewis Scooter Libby stories.)

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