Tags: Fred Barnes | Trump | Pardon | Scooter Libby

Fred Barnes: Trump Should Pardon 'Scooter' Libby

Image: Fred Barnes: Trump Should Pardon 'Scooter' Libby

Former White House aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, arrives at federal court in Washington, Thursday, June 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By    |   Monday, 23 Jan 2017 09:47 AM

President Donald Trump should issue a pardon for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, says Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard.

Libby, who was former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff from 2001 to 2005, was convicted in 2007 of lying to a grand jury over Valerie Plame being revealed as a worker for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Former President George W. Bush commuted Libby's 30-month sentence, but kept in place a $250,000 fine or community service. Bush also did not issue a pardon for Libby.

Barnes wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal suggesting Libby should be issued a pardon because former New York Times reporter Judith Miller recanted her testimony about Libby in her 2015 book.

Miller said that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald urged her to believe Libby was responsible for Plame's outing, Barnes writes.

Discounting Miller's testimony, the case against Libby was weak, Barnes said. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew about Plame's time at the State Department as a cover for her CIA work, but had not told Miller about it.

Libby told Barnes that his memory had been faulty. At his trial, Libby had asked for a memory expert, hoping to show that his statements had been mistakes because he had not remembered the facts correctly. Judge Reggie Walton turned down that request, Barnes said.

According to Bush's memoir, "Decision Points," Cheney argued with the president to get Libby a pardon, but Bush refused.

"I had never seen Dick like this. He stared at me with an intense look. 'I can't believe you're going to leave a soldier on the battlefield," Cheney told Bush.

Bush said in 2010 that he did not understand why the case against Libby went forward. Barnes said Fitzgerald is the answer; the prosecutor wanted to prosecute Cheney or catch lies by Bush aides.

According to The Washington Post, on Nov. 8, 2016, Libby was cleared to practice law again. He had lost his law license in 2008, following his conviction, The Post reported.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel reported that Libby had presented "credible evidence" that Miller had changed her claims about what happened, and said it was not against Libby's reinstatement, according to The Post.

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President Donald Trump should issue a pardon for Lewis Scooter Libby, says Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard.
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Monday, 23 Jan 2017 09:47 AM
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