Remember how the Republicans always told us Clinton's impeachment wasn't about the sex, it was about the lying? That is, the false affadavit Clinton signed in connection with a civil case.
Scooter Libby committed perjury (lied to a grand jury) and made false statements in connection with a criminal case. Not just any criminal case, an investigation into the leaking of a covert CIA agent's name. Despite his all-star legal team, Libby was convicted on four out of five counts of perjury and making false statements.
Well, Bush made a big show of saying he would fire anyone involved in leaking covert CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the media. But when push came to shove, he didn't do it, and he made sure that convicted felon Scooter Libby didn't see a day in prison for lying to the FBI and to a grand jury.
Today, after a court ruled against Libby's efforts to delay his prison sentence until after he had exhausted his appeals, Bush commuted Libby's sentence to probation and a $250,000 fine. That fine is meaningless–Bush pioneers have been raising millions of dollars for Libby.
TPM Cafe has been keeping track of reaction to the commutation by politicians of both parties.
I found this nugget at Talking Points Memo particularly interesting. This comes from the Department of Justice manual on commutations, with emphasis added by Josh Marshall:
Section 1-2.113 Standards for Considering Commutation Petitions
A commutation of sentence reduces the period of incarceration; it does not imply forgiveness of the underlying offense, but simply remits a portion of the punishment. It has no effect upon the underlying conviction and does not necessarily reflect upon the fairness of the sentence originally imposed. Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding.
Even Bush's commutation didn't follow legal procedures.
But hey, it's ok if you're a Republican.Continue Reading...