Trump pardons "Scooter" Libby, former Dick Cheney adviser

Mary Altaffer  AP FILE

Mary Altaffer AP FILE

President Trump announced on Friday afternoon an unexpected full pardon for Scooter Libby - handing a big favor to one of his most vocal defenders.

President Donald Trump pardoned Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Friday, a former Bush administration official who was convicted of perjury in 2007, in a move some see as a vengeful retaliation for former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's unflattering new book.

"It has nothing to do with Libby, and it has nothing to do with me", Wilson told HuffPost Friday.

"I don't know Mr. Libby", Trump said in a statement. "In eight years, I had never seen Dick like this, or even close to it".

Libby's the guy convicted of perjury in 2007 in the investigation into who leaked the identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame.

Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000, but his sentence was commuted by then-President George W. Bush.

In a White House statement, President Trump suggested Libby was treated very unfairly.

House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in an declaration, "This pardon sends a troubling sign to the president's allies that justice will be rewarded".

The Bush administration leaked the name of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert Central Intelligence Agency agent, to the press in its attempts to undercut Wilson.

What's interesting about the pardoning of Libby, who Trump playfully dissociates himself from in the White House statement, nearly to underline that the pardon was not about justice or Libby at all, is both the association and the timing.

People loyal to Libby have recently come into Trump's inner circle, including former Bush administration official John Bolton, who now serves as Trump's national security adviser.

Trump plans to pardon Libby.

The chief federal prosecutor in Libby's case was Patrick Fitzgerald, then the US attorney from the Northern District of IL.

That's because the attorney who represents Scooter Libby is Victoria Toensing, wife of Joe diGenova. diGenova regularly appears on Fox News and rails against special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign.

Libby was convicted in a case headed up by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT - The President of the United States Donald J. Trump slammed Former #FBI Director #JamesComey calling him as 'untruthful slime ball, ' due to former FBI director attacks on the President of #US in his new book. He granted one previous year for former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court.

The Libby case has been criticised by conservatives, who argue he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel.

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