Trump pardons former vice president's chief of staff

Trump pardons former vice president's chief of staff

Trump pardons former vice president's chief of staff

Libby, chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, earned his characterization by compromising national security in a case that imperiled the life of a covert Central Intelligence Agency agent.

Former President George W. Bush had earlier commuted Libby's 30-month sentence, but stopped short of issuing a full pardon, which absolves the convictions. Specifically, Libby lied to investigators about the disclosure to reporters of Valerie Plame's status as a covert Central Intelligence Agency agent after her husband, Joseph Wilson, publicly criticized the Bush administration's stated rationale for invading Iraq in a 2003 New York Times op-ed.

Since then, the Libby case has been criticized by conservatives, who argue he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel. Fitzgerald was tapped by then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey, and the news of Libby's pardon came hours after excerpts from Comey's new memoir leaked, in which the ex-FBI director is highly critical of the President.

"You would have to believe that the president picked the Scooter Libby out of a hat, out of the thousands of people seeking a pardon, this was a complete coincidence", Schiff said.

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Schiff said on ABC's "This Week" that it was not credible Trump could have chosen to pardon Libby at random. "If you're with me, I have your back.' I think that is the very blatant message the president is trying to send", Schiff said.

Trump has granted two other pardons since taking over the White House, a move usually reserved for a president's final year in office.

Trump also pardoned a U.S. Navy sailor who was convicted after taking photos of classified portions of a submarine.

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