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BREAKING: MSNBC Reports Bush Commutes Libby’s Sentence

bush-cheney-libby-hadley.jpgPresident Bush, once again throwing the rule of law out in the trash to cater to his rabid base, has commuted Scooter Libby’s prison sentence.  Both MSNBC and CNN are reporting this.

As Jeff Toobin just said on CNN:  A pardon is if the conviction had never happened — a pardon is an absolute reversal of fortune.  A commutation leaves the conviction, the fine and the two years of probation on the books, but it does remove the prison time from the mix.

The President has an absolute right to do this.  But by commuting the sentence of his former Presidential advisor and the former Number 2 to Dick Cheney — the President has put protecting Dick Cheney and his actions above respect for America’s system of justice.

This is a shameful, self-dealing action which will have long-term political ramifications for the Bush Administration.  And it should.

The entire case — from betrayal of Valerie Plame Wilson by members of her own government to the inception of the investigation into that betrayal from a referral from the CIA…all the way through to the conviction of I. Lewis Libby of multiple felony counts by a federal jury and the stiff sentence for a convicted felon meted out by a conservative federal judge — all of it has served to highlight the lies on which the invasion of Iraq rested.  And how far the members of the Bush Administration were willing to go to keep those lies buried and away from the public’s knowledge.

That George Bush commuted Libby’s sentence just as he returned from a trip to his father’s family compound in Maine, ran into the White House away from the press and refused to answer any questions about his own involvement in the case, his own interview with Patrick Fitzgerald and federal investigators, and any remaining questions that still hang out there about the cloud over Dick Cheney underscores the craven and disrespectful conduct of the Bush Administration from start to finish.  There is nothing that these people will not do to protect their own, whatever the cost may be for the long term to the public confidence in the rule of law.  This is a slap in the face to the members of the jury and all of the federal judges who have ruled on the substantial amount of evidence of Libby’s guilt and the weakness of his attempts to appeal.

We’ll have more as we get it on this.

PS — Tucker Carlson just went on a diatribe about Pat Fitzgerald and prosecutorial meanness on MSNBC.  No disclosure from Tucker whatsoever that his daddy ran the Free Scooter defense fund.  MSNBC has some ‘splaining to do, because that was simply a self-dealing, self-serving abomination.  And I’m sick of him getting away with it.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com