President Trump pardoned Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who served as Chief of Staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, Friday afternoon. More than a decade ago, Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection to an investigation into the leaked identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame during the Iraq war.
“Before his conviction, Mr. Libby had rendered more than a decade of honorable service to the Nation as a public servant at the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the White House. His record since his conviction is similarly unblemished, and he continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers,” the White House said in a statement.
President Trump said in the announcement of the pardon that he hoped it would rectify the unfair treatment he thought Libby had received. “I don’t know Mr. Libby,” President Trump said, “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.”
This is the third pardon of Trump’s presidency. Trump pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for criminal contempt of court last August and last month, he pardoned Kristian Saucier, a navy submarine officer who took pictures inside a nuclear submarine.
Here’s what you need to know about Libby:
Who is Scooter Libby?
Libby is an attorney who served in the George W. Bush administration, most notably as Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. The 67-year-old lawyer served in the Bush administration from 2001 to 2005, but resigned after he was indicted by a grand jury on five counts for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to the FBI.
Is Scooter Libby in jail?
No. Libby was convicted in 2007 for obstruction and perjury over his role in the Plame investigation. He was given a prison sentence of 2 and a half years, but President George W. Bush granted him clemency, although it was not a full pardon. So while Libby did not end up serving time in jail, he was still on probation for 2 years and paid a fine of $250,000.
What did Scooter Libby do?
A grand jury indicted Libby in 2005 on five counts: two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstruction of justice. The indictments resulted from a special counsel investigation into which member of the Bush administration had leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame. Libby was not the leaker, but faced legal troubles as a result of the information he provided during the investigation. He was convicted in 2007.
How is Scooter Libby connected to James Comey’s new book?
He’s not, at least not directly. But the reports of Trump’s decision to pardon Libby came out after the first passages of Comey’s new book emerged in the press.
And CNN notes it was Comey, then serving as Deputy Attorney General in the Department of Justice, who oversaw the special counsel investigation into the leak that ultimately led to Libby’s conviction.