Typically, Friday the 13th is known by superstitious folk as a day fraught with bad luck, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney Scooter Libby.
Libby received a pardon from President Trump after being charged and convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice and making false statements back in 2007.
This is a huge, huge middle finger to former FBI Director James Comey.
Here’s Fox News with the details:
“I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Trump said in a statement. “But for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.”
Libby told Fox News in a brief phone call after Trump’s announcement he is “pleased” his innocence “has been recognized.”
Libby, who served as Cheney’s chief of staff, was convicted in 2007 of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements. The case stemmed from an investigation into the leaking of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, though Libby was not charged for the leak itself.
President George W. Bush had previously commuted Libby’s prison sentence.
The Libby case has been criticized by conservatives, who argue he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel.
Plame’s identity, it turned out, was leaked to journalist Robert Novak not by the White House, but by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Supporters of Libby, including Cheney, have long pushed for a pardon. The effort intensified after former New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s 2015 book where she doubted the accuracy of her testimony that prosecutors used to convict Libby.
Miller testified in 2007 that Libby told her Plame was a CIA agent. Prosecutors used that testimony to say Libby lied.
But Miller wrote in her 2015 book, “The Story: A Reporter’s Journey” that she’s worried her memory “may have failed me” during the trial, and now doubts Libby ever told her that Plame worked for the CIA.
A statement from the White House explaining the pardon made an apparent reference to Miller, saying “one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said.”
Okay, so you’re probably wondering what this all has to do with Comey, right?
Well, Comey was the one who appointed Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald who many, including Karl Rove, believe was on a witch hunt and looking for someone to nail to the wall over the incident.
This really looks like a shot taken at the former FBI director who just recently released a book taking all kinds of petty punches at the president.
This is the third pardon from Trump since he took office last year. One he granted was for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for charges of contempt of court. The other was a U.S. Navy sailor who was convicted for taking pictures of classified portions of a submarine.
In all honesty, this was a move that George W. Bush should’ve made a long, long time ago. In fact, his not giving Libby a pardon lead to all sorts of issues with Vice President Cheney, causing a rift in their friendship that doesn’t seem to have really healed.
Good on Trump for making the right call.