Trump pardons former vice president's chief of staff

Bharara Libby pardon a political message

Bharara Libby pardon a political message

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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