On Thursday night, ABC News reported that President Donald Trump was planning to pardon Scooter Libby, the former chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney. It turns out that the report was correct, as Trump made it official on Friday.
Read the press release below:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2018
*Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Pardon of I. Scooter Lewis Libby*
Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) to I. Scooter Lewis Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, for convictions stemming from a 2007 trial. President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libbys sentence shortly after his conviction. Mr. Libby, nevertheless, paid a $250,000 fine, performed 400 hours of community service, and served two years of probation.
In 2015, one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said. The next year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law. The Court agreed with the District of Columbia Disciplinary Counsel, who stated that Mr. Libby had presented credible evidence in support of his innocence, including evidence that a key prosecution witness had changed her recollection of the events in question.
Before his conviction, Mr. Libby had rendered more than a decade of honorable service to the Nation as a public servant at the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the White House. His record since his conviction is similarly unblemished, and he continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers.
In light of these facts, the President believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon. I don’t know Mr. Libby, said President Trump, 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.
In 2007, Libby was convicted of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice when he denied being the leaker of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity. After he publicly denied being the leaker, many people came forward and stated that Libby had made the information known to them.
Former President George W. Bush chose not to pardon Libby but instead commuted his 30-month prison sentence. Libby joins Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the list of controversial figures that Trump has pardoned during his time in office.