Lewis "Scooter" Libby, aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, and sentenced to 2.5 years in jail. He petitioned the court to remain free while his appeal was pending. That was denied today, so he is headed for hard time within a week or two.
(Picture: ABC News)
Will President Bush pardon the Scooter? I believe it is all but certain that he will. It is within his right and he has nothing to lose. The president is a fierce defender of personal loyalty and owes allegiance himself to Dick Cheney.
The justifications will be 1. In consideration of long years of selfless national service. 2. Nobody was ever charged with a crime in the investigation he obstructed, therefore there was nothing to obstruct.
Not mentioned will be: 1. Obstruction is a crime in itself. 2. So is perjury.
When will it happen? As soon as it becomes obvious to the president that there is no chance of getting immigration reform passed under this congress, he will issue the pardon. There is a chance he will hold out until the Iraq progress report and re-funding in September, but by then, Libby will be behind bars, so that is less likely. Least likely is a pardon issued in the last days of office, in mid-January, 2009, because Libby would have served almost half his sentence by then.
Why do nearly all presidents value personal loyalty above decency, ethics, law, and even the oath of office? There must be something in the White House water supply.