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Reggie’s Going to Smile

If the hapless Democratic Congress ever gets around to an investigation through which they can ask Reggie to turn over the CIA Leak case grand jury materials.

But for now, I’d say he’s still cranky, wouldn’t you?

In commuting the defendant’sthirty-month term of incarceration, the President stated that thesentence imposed by this Court was “excessive” and that two years ofsupervised release and a $250,000 alone are a “harsh punishment” for anindividual convicted on multiple counts of perjury, obstruction ofjustice, and making false statements to federal investigators. Althoughit is certainly the President’s prerogative to justify the exercise ofhis constitutional commutation power in whatever manner he chooses (oreven to decline to provide a reason for his actions altogether), theCourt notes that the term of incarceration imposed in this case wasdetermined after a careful consideration of each of the requitestatutory factors, and was consistent with the bottom end of theapplicable sentencing range as properly calculated under the UnitedStats Sentencing Guidelines.

Indeed, onlyrecently the President’s Attorney General called for the passage oflegislation to “restore the binding nature of the sentencing guidelinesso that the bottom of the recommended sentencing range would be aminimum for judges, not merely a suggestion,” a stance that is fullyconsonant with the policies of this Administration as a whole. Inlight of these considerations, and given the indisputable importance of“provid[ing] certainty and fairness in sentencing . . . [and]avoid[ing] unwarranted sentencing disparities,” it is fair to say thatthe Court is somewhat perplexed as to how its sentence could beaccurately be characterized as “excessive.”[my emphasis]

In the meantime, I’m not holding my breath on the hapless Congress.

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.