President Donald Trump is reportedly gearing up for his third presidential pardon.
In 2007, Libby was found guilty of lying to a grand jury and FBI investigators in connection with the probe of the leaked identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.
While President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence during his time in office, he did not pardon him.
Trump’s decision to pardon Libby is unexpected. In his nearly 15 months in office, Trump has only issued two pardons and commuted one sentence. And pardoning Libby specifically would serve to contradict Trump’s own publicly-expressed opinions.
Libby was one of the chief architects of the Iraq war, a pursuit that Trump has openly criticized. As recently as March of this year, Trump called the 2003 invasion “the single worst decision ever made.” What’s more, Trump has repeatedly harped against leaks, the “culture of leaks,” and individuals who leak information to the press—but of course Libby’s offense involved the leaking of CIA officer Plame’s identity.
Trump controversially pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in August of last year.