A Pardon For Libby?

Newsday speculates. And I mean speculates:

Now that top White House aide Karl Rove is off the hook in the CIA leak probe, President George W. Bush must weigh whether to pardon former vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the only one indicted in the three-year investigation.

Speculation about a pardon began in late October, soon after Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald unsealed the perjury indictment of Libby, and it continued last week after Fitzgerald chose not to charge Rove.

“I think ultimately, of course, there are going to be pardons,” said Joseph diGenova, a former prosecutor and an old Washington hand who shares that view with many pundits.

“These are the kinds of cases in which historically presidents have given pardons,” said the veteran Republican attorney.

The White House remains mum on the president’s intentions. Spokeswoman Dana Perino declined to comment Friday.

Bush has powerful incentives to pardon Libby, however. They range from rewarding past loyalty to ending the awkward revelations emerging from pretrial motions, a flow that could worsen in his trial next year.

This is sure to generate some angst on the left side of the blogosphere, however, it contains absolutely nothing new. So far, the only reaction worth commenting on is that from Jeralyn Merritt from TalkLeft who warns that a pardon for Libby prior to the 2008 presidential race could have “severe adverse consequences” for the Republicans. Nonsense, I say. Does anyone outside the beltway care about Plamegate now, let alone what happens two years down the road? It’s a story that politicos obsess over but I doubt highly that any American will base his or her vote in 2008 on what President Bush does vis-a-vis Scooter Libby.

As lawhawk at A Blog For All so perfectly puts it: “So, we’re now witnessing speculation that Louis ‘Scooter’ Libby will be pardoned by President Bush at some point for lying about telling the truth about a serial liar in a case where no crime was actually committed. What kind of loony logic is this?”

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Greg Tinti
About Greg Tinti
Greg started the blog The Political Pit Bull in August 2005. He was OTB's Breaking News Editor from June through August 2006 before deciding to return to his own blog. His blogging career eventually ended altogether. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University,


  1. BigFire says:

    Bush have nothing to gain and much to loose. Which is the reason his enemies wants him to do this.

  2. I could possibly see a December 31st, 2008 pardon, but I don’t think there is much likelihood of anything earlier. If for no other reason, the odds are good that Libby would beat the charges, thus totally diffusing the case (except the “Leopold” class of moonbat which would see the beams of the Rovian mind ray piercing the skull of the judge who dismissed the case).

  3. McGehee says:

    I’m with BigFire. This is wishful thinking on the order of Truthout’s “Rove indicted” story.

  4. Anderson says:

    Mr. Tinti takes a genuinely “nothing new” story & manages to exceed it in hyperbole.

    It’s not at all plausible that Bush could pardon Libby before the 2008 elections & not have it used very effectively against the Republicans. Even the Dems could make some decent TV time out of that.

    The fact that the Plame affair means little to most Americans, doesn’t mean that “Prez pardons Cheney’s henchman to save him from slammer” wouldn’t make an impression.

    I’m with yetanotherjohn: Libby will get a Marc Rich-style pardon after Nov. 2008.

  5. Anderson,

    Just to be clear. I was saying IF the pardon happened, it would be done quietly and after the 2008 elections by a man who would never run for office again. I think that there is a decent chance of the case imploding on its own with out the need for a pardon. I also suspect that Bush may have more character than Clinton on pardons and may pardon as many people as bills he has vetoed. All speculation on my part. But we are in agreement that the article is a good example of hype and speculation that should be an embarrassment to a water cooler strategist, let alone paid journalists.

  6. McGehee says:

    Anderson, thank you for bolstering my point about wishful thinking.