President Trump Pardons Scooter Libby After Leak of CIA Officer's Identity

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It could hardly be more obvious that Trump's pardon of Libby is created to send the message that he is prepared to pardon those charged with (and even convicted of) making false statements in connection with the Russian Federation "collusion" matter. Trump also has pardoned a US Navy sailor who was convicted after taking photos of classified portions of a submarine. While Libby was never charged with leaking Plame's name, he was convicted of lying to the FBI and a grand jury and of obstructing justice in the investigation.

"I don't know Mr. Libby, but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly", said Trump in a statement.

Mr. Trump explained his full pardon by saying he has heard for years "that he has been treated unfairly". Late Thursday, the Associated Press had published a primer that revealed just how caustic the book's criticism of the president would be, relaying Comey's assessment that Trump was unethical and "untethered to truth".

Libby was given a 30-month prison sentence but refused a full pardon from President Bush, and the New York Times said that refusal soured their relationship. Libby paid a $250,000 fine and completed his community service and probation following the conviction. "Mr. Trump has repeatedly complained that the special counsel investigation into possible cooperation between his campaign and Russian Federation in 2016 has gone too far and amounts to an unfair "witch hunt," The New York Times said. David Andrews plays Scooter Libby in the film.

At trial, Libby claimed to have simply forgotten he actually learned about the identity from Cheney a month before he said he had.

Trump has spent the past week enraged at the special counsel and the ever-growing web of associates who have become entangled in the investigation.

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Bush, whom Trump often derides in caustic terms, could not be convinced to pardon Libby.

The thing is, Mr. Trump is unlikely to be able to use his pardon power to get out of his legal jam.

It turns out, moreover, that Mr. Cheney was wrongly convicted.

Libby's attorneys, Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, issued a statement thanking Trump for "addressing a gross injustice" they said was inflicted by Fitzgerald and Comey. I think he has an audience of three, perhaps more. I also learned that the Central Intelligence Agency assessment had been finished in late 2003 or early 2004, long before Libby was indicted or I went to jail.

The move would mark the third pardon by Trump. He hasn't gone through the pardon office. He granted one previous year for former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court.

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