Troubling Signal Seen as Trump Pardons Cheney Sidekick Scooter Libby

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Donald Trump has issued a full pardon to Scooter Libby, a former top aide to vice president Dick Cheney.

FILE PHOTO: Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of personnel to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, is greeted by photographers as he departs a national shot at the end of this third evening of his own perjury demo in Washington, "U.S., February 2 3, 2007". "I'm sure Libby's happy to have it, but the audience here is [former Trump campaign chairman] Paul Manafort, [Trump's personal lawyer] Michael Cohen, and a slew of other people who can incriminate Trump". Investigators never proved a definitive connection, but they did build an obstruction case against Libby.

Libby was convicted by a jury in 2007 of perjury, obstructing justice and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he lied about leaking Plame's identity. President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libby's sentence shortly after his conviction. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders noted in a statement on the pardon that Libby still paid a $250,000 fine and performed 400 hours of community service.

Trump said he pardoned Libby, whom he doesn't know, because "he has been treated unfairly"-a claim Plame shredded as completely false".

The person said the pardon has been under consideration at the White House for months.

Whatever Trump does or doesn't know about Libby, however, someone must have told him why the Bush administration's former vice presidential chief of staff ended his career with multiple felony convictions and narrowly escaped prison.

Even with President Bush's commutation, for years, Libby was without many of his civil rights.

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At the same time, Wheeler writes, "This won't be one (Manafort) or two (Cohen) people Trump has to pardon".

In 2007, James Comey was the deputy attorney general, and appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation into Libby.

While Trump has had no relationship or expressed interest in Libby's case to date, conservatives have long regarded the prosecution as an example of a special counsel overstepping its original mandate.

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Trump used his pardon authority previous year when he pardoned Joe Arpaio, a controversial sheriff in Arizona who had been convicted of criminal contempt related to his hard-line tactics going after undocumented immigrants.

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said earlier Friday that there was no current petition seeking a pardon on file with the DOJ's Office of Pardon Attorney. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life'.