Report: Cheney 'Furious' that Bush Wouldn't Pardon Scooter Libby
Former President George W. Bush refused to pardon former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby as he was set to leave office, despite a last-gasp plea by his No. 2, Dick Cheney.
Cheney "repeatedly pressed" Bush to pardon Libby, and was "furious" when the president refused, according to unnamed sources quoted by the New York Daily News.
"He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush," a source told the Daily News. "He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in."
It was more than five years ago, in July 2003, when Libby confirmed for Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and disclosed to Judith Miller of The New York Times the classified fact that the wife of retired U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was known as Valerie Plame, "worked at the CIA," according to prosecutors.
Libby then spoke to FBI agents about what he said, allegedly lying under oath. Barton Gellman, The Washington Post reporter who penned a book on Cheney entitled "Angler," (Post series) wrote:
At least four people told reporters about Valerie Plame's CIA employment: Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, Richard Armitage, and Scooter Libby. The first three told enough of the truth under oath, and soon enough, to avoid indictment. Libby, among the most cautious of men, did not. On October 14 and November 26, 2003, he crossed a point of no return. He lied to the FBI about what he knew, how he learned it, and what he told reporters.
Libby was formally charged in federal court in October 2005, resigned and convicted in March 2007 of four counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI. He dropped his appeals a few months later, citing "personal costs," and was barred from practicing law in the District of Columbia in March 2008.
Libby's 30-month prison sentence was commuted by Bush but his conviction stood (Bush didn't rule out later pardoning Libby). At the time, Cheney said he agreed with Bush's actions: "I thought the president handled it right," he said during an interview with CBS Radio. "I supported his decision." Still, Libby's departure from the White House left a noticeable hole, Gellman wrote:
Libby's loss deprived Cheney of his most capable and experienced adviser, his regular stand-in and the overseer of meticulous preparations for nearly everything Cheney did in government. Colleagues said (David S.) Addington, who became chief of staff, was a match for Libby in bureaucratic combat but not in breadth of knowledge or managerial skill. Nor could Addington replace himself as the Bush administration's alpha lawyer.
By Derek Kravitz |
February 17, 2009; 12:37 PM ET
The Bush-Cheney Legacy
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