White House: Bush won’t rule out pardoning Libby entirely

These guys really take the cake. Just yesterday Bush said that he respected the jury’s verdict, but it was the punishment that he thought was too harsh. Now they’re saying that even the verdict may be wrong. But then why not just pardon him, why do it halfway then hint that you may do more later?

Here is Bush yesterday:

I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.

But if you pardon him, you won’t be respecting the jury’s verdict or leaving in place a harsh punishment. You’ll be exonerating him 100%. Or is Bush playing a little game here. Libby will pay the fine, he’s already paid the price to his reputation and to his wife and young children. So if Bush pardons him at the end of his term, he won’t really be contradicting his statement about the rest of the punishment being valid. As Joe Wilson said yesterday, nothing from these guys surprises me anymore.

And by the way, we’ve just seen judicial activism, Republican-style, in play once again. Or, rather, the Republicans are afraid that judges will decide cases badly, so they just take the law into their own hands. Perhaps we should call it extra-judicial activism.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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