Truth and Consequences for Libby

If you are surprised by the tough sentence U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton just handed down to former White House official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then you haven't been paying much attention to the case, to the judge's reputation for tough justice, or to the nature of the convictions against Libby when weighed against his background as a lawyer and his prominence in government.

"People who occupy these types of positions, where they have the welfare and security of nation in their hands, have a special obligation to not do anything that might create a problem," Judge Walton said to Libby as he was sentencing him to 30 months in a federal prison and fining him $250,000.

Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald had asked for a sentence like this, and this morning he told Judge Walton that a tough term was needed for Libby because "the truth matters ever so much." The federal probation office had suggested a sentence in the 15-to-30 month range and Libby's lawyers had famously begged for leniency and asked for probation.

No dice, said the judge: You do the crime, you do the time, especially when you should have known better and done better. "Overwhelming evidence" of guilt, Judge Walton declared.

On the bright side for Libby -- and of all days today is a day when he is probably looking for a bright side -- the two-and-a-half year term gives Team Libby another decent appellate issue to work with as they move forward in the case. In addition to all of the appellate issues raised during the trial itself, Libby now can argue that Judge Walton incorrectly factored into his sentencing decision the underlying event -- the leaking to the public of CIA Agent Valerie Plame Wilson's name -- even though no one ever was charged with (much less convicted of) that crime. Because the federal sentencing rules are such a mess, I have absolutely no idea how that issue will play out on appeal.

In the meantime, there are other unresolved questions. We do not know, for example, whether Libby will have to begin serving his prison term right away or whether he will be allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. Judge Walton scheduled another hearing for next Thursday to resolve that issue. (I'm betting on bail.) Also, we do not know what role President Bush plans to play in all of this. He, of course, can and may pardon Libby, but probably wouldn't do so until after Libby's appeal is exhausted (especially if Libby stays out of prison while he fights the fight).

And the timing for a pardon might work out great for both Libby and the president -- it is possible, even likely, that the federal appeals court won't resolve Libby's appeal until well into next year, maybe even after the presidential election. The really fascinating scenario puts Libby in prison later this month -- no bail-- with the president under intense pressure to help out a former high-ranking insider. Now, wouldn't that be a summer blockbuster.

By Andrew Cohen |  June 5, 2007; 12:05 PM ET
Previous: Gitmo Drama Turns Into Farce | Next: Scooterpalooza! Ten Libby News Nuggets

Comments

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I have no idea what really went on in the White House, but it sure seems as though Libby is a capo, and he's having to take the heat (and the hit) for the capo di tutti capi. Wasn't there recently a quote from some consigliere from Daddy Bush's time, pissed off because some underling didn't understand he was supposed to take one for the Big Guy?

Libby probably has too much sense of honor (or omerta) to give up Karl Rove, but I take heart that Patrick Fitzgerald is still toiling, economically but steadily.

Between international myopia and domestic triumphalism, this administration is such a failure that soon the only way to get even Stephen Harper's attention will be to send Laura Bush over to 24 Sussex Drive in a government car, asking if he'll please, please come to a state dinner (as long as he doesn't invite that scary Queen Elizabeth).

Posted by: Schadenfreude | June 5, 2007 01:29 PM

Send him to one of Bush´s rape rooms until he starts telling the truth! If it´s good enough for Bush´s Jack Abramoff, it´s good enough for Leaky Dick´s personal liar. Leaky Dick too! Leaky Dick too!!

Posted by: Leaky Dick | June 5, 2007 01:30 PM

Justice has not yet been served - not until Libby and CHENEY - the mastermind of the treasonous outing of a covert CIA agent and the covert operation Brewster Jennings that she worked for - SIT INSIDE A PRISON.

Posted by: JBE | June 5, 2007 01:41 PM

THERE WAS NO CRIME UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION STARTED! For that matter there should never had been one to begin with.

Posted by: Jono | June 5, 2007 01:42 PM

Keep your mouth shut, Scooter. Do your time. Get a lot of reading done, relax. The Family takes care of its own. You're a made man! What a bunch of thugs!

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 5, 2007 01:43 PM

taking bets right now. Bush pardons, cuz his friends can't break the law, if they believe it's true it's a fundamental right. Leaking CIA agents has to be done to preserve the republican agenda.

Posted by: kevin | June 5, 2007 01:52 PM

When is he due to "scoot" to the cell? Delay here, delay there, 90 days here, 90 days there. Dis the tie, cuff links and watch and "walk this way sir".

Posted by: OJ the Juice | June 5, 2007 01:53 PM

With a fruity name like Scooter, he will be a big hit with the cell-block homosexuals.

Posted by: Scooter | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

With a fruity name like Scooter, he will be a big hit with the cell-block homosexuals.

Posted by: Scooter | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

Relax people. 'Ol scooter is taking one for the team. He's financially set for life and he'll do his time like a true mob soldier. There's a fox news show and radio gig waiting for him when he gets out a la Oliver North and G. Liddy.

Posted by: | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

With a fruity name like Scooter, he will be a big hit with the cell-block homosexuals.

Posted by: Scooter | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

With a fruity name like Scooter, he will be a big hit with the cell-block homosexuals.

Posted by: Scooter | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

With a fruity name like Scooter, he will be a big hit with the cell-block homosexuals.

Posted by: Scooter | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

With a fruity name like Scooter, he will be a big hit with the cell-block homosexuals.

Posted by: Scooter | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

With a fruity name like Scooter, he will be a big hit with the cell-block homosexuals.

Posted by: Scooter | June 5, 2007 01:57 PM

Let's see if this is correct. Adultery is not a crime in Washington D.C., (otherwise, we'd have a very empty house and senate). However, Clinton lied under oath regarding having sex with Monica. So there was not an "underlying" crime to his perjury. Didn't stop the "Con-Dumbs" from impeaching him, and a federal judge from striping Bill's law license and fining him.

So to all of the "Con-Dumb" whiners, get over it. You loved the rule of law when it was applied to a sitting president, but when it is one of your guy, it's "what crime?".

Perjury, lying to a Federal officer, and obstruction of justice are crimes. Period!

That is what "Scooter" has been found guilty of, and now sentenced for. The system works only when people under oath tell the truth.

Why should rich, influential, politicians get a free ride. They shouldn't, they should be held to the same if not a higher standard.

Posted by: Tom Paine | June 5, 2007 01:58 PM

some excellent comments, i'm glad to see that American public can actually see what is really happening, because from abroad it looks as if USA has been taken over by a bunch of triger-happy hick cowboys with no regard for what this country once stood for. Hope you make your voices heard next elections!

Posted by: John Doe | June 5, 2007 01:59 PM

Jono: Don't waste our time with the tired old lie that no crime was committed. Leaking classified information is a serious felony, and outing a covert CIA agent in time of war is *treason*. Plame was covert; this has been proven by her now-unclassified employment record at the CIA. And we're at war, at least according to the White House and PNAC. This whole mess is one big den of criminal activity, with Libby being cut off like a lizard shedding its tail to escape a predator.

Posted by: Shade Tail | June 5, 2007 02:02 PM

Send him direct to Gitmo (see following article), do not pass Go, but do collect all of his fine up front. If Libby is in Gitmo, it will take him more than the 30-month sentence just to get started on an appeal.

Posted by: H5N1 | June 5, 2007 02:04 PM

Those who say there was no crime before the investigation are wrong, plus they miss the point. Perjury isn't relieved by the subsequent non-prosecution of the initial event. Plus, the very basis of a perjury charge is that such behavior obstructs the ability to get at what really happened--something the prosecutor pointed out. Rove and Cheney got what they needed from Libby: protection from a fall guy. It wasn't enough for Nixon--his crimes were too great. But this matter is small compared to all of the other yet-prosecuted shennanigans the Bushies have been up to, so I'm not surprised it stopped with Libby. Or did it....?

Posted by: Rich Douglas | June 5, 2007 02:05 PM

Libby's lie was part of the hard-sell on their Iraq war, specifically feeding the fictitious notion that we were all suddenly on the verge of getting Nuked by Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: The Big Picture | June 5, 2007 02:08 PM

Ahh, the inevitable troll post. I can't believe anyone still supports the actions of this administrations.

"THERE WAS NO CRIME UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION STARTED! For that matter there should never had been one to begin with."

Last I checked, obstruction of justice was a crime.

Posted by: Truthiness | June 5, 2007 02:10 PM

I can't wait until this Administration is out of the White House.

Posted by: James | June 5, 2007 02:11 PM

The guy was part of a group of people using revenge against the wife of the guy trying to stop an unnecessary War that has cost hundred of thousands of lives. Mr. Wilson was doing the honest thing: he knew 'Bush & friends' were lying and he spoke out. Scooter is the closest thing to a traitor to the country. 30 months is a very light sentence. The worst thing: Cheney is getting away with treason.

Posted by: Fernando F | June 5, 2007 02:14 PM

I'd like to say that this author is not a very good journalist.

But first I'd like to say that Clinton was never convicted of perjury, and he was never even indicted for perjury by anyone except the GOP House (because they could).

Yes, Ken Starr charged Clinton. But Ken Starr NEVER got ANY indictments from ANY Federal Grand Jury.
Just making sure the record is clear.

re: this author --
The sentencing guidelines are not "a mess." Fitz wanted to make sure that Judge Walton sentenced according to the correct guidelines so there could be no appeal. Walton corrected himself and asked the probation people to recalculate THEIR guidelines based on Walton agreeing with Fitz that this particular perjury and obstruction of justice was very serious.

Also, the author tells your readers that he is "betting" on bail. But Walton clearly said today that Libby's lawyers were going to have to convince him -- the presiding judge -- that there is even a single aspect of the trial that is open to appeal. This isn't a murder case where appeal is automatic. And, in fact, that's actually what next week's hearing is all about -- for Wells to show Walton what he thinks he can appeal on.

If Bush pardons Libby, I hope all Americans agree that that is grounds for impeachment.

Posted by: Jan | June 5, 2007 02:14 PM

John Doe, the last time I checked, the country HAD been taken over by a bunch of trigger-happy cowboy hicks with no regard for what the country once stood for. Having your voice heard at the election is no panacea, when they're stolen in the courts and by the Republican campaign contributing voting machine companies. These cowboys are SO inept, that there's a chance we might actually get it back, but how much (and how long) will it take to clean up the mess? How many millions of new terrorists has Bush bred by invading a sovereign nation (Iraq) for no legitimate reason other than we didn't like who was running it? When the only thing that was stabilizing it was Saddam's iron fist, how can we expect peace to break out among factions that have been warring for over a thousand years? And how many of OUR lives do we have to waste for that to happen. If the Iraqis truly want democracy, THEY'VE got to sacrifice for it, not us.

Posted by: Citizen Kane | June 5, 2007 02:16 PM

"THERE WAS NO CRIME UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION STARTED!" - Jono

Your comment inevitably leads to the question, "Then why did he lie?"

Perhaps, you can enlighten us, Jono.

Posted by: DC | June 5, 2007 02:17 PM

Interesting sentence and comments.

It seems like life is just partisan.

Many folks who are against amnesty because "they are lawbreakers" want lawbreaker Scooter Libby to get amnesty.

Posted by: pensfans | June 5, 2007 02:17 PM

truth matters ! at least in this country it does !

Posted by: Jon Doe2 | June 5, 2007 02:18 PM

It's not over till it's over, this is egregious, vindictive and a miscarriage of justice. This is the result of arrogance in the federal judiciary. Special prosecutors appointed by and for politicians demonstrating their true colors for their own self interest.

Posted by: R Ward | June 5, 2007 02:21 PM

Leave this repubelicon administration alone! Only a sitting president can give pardons. After Bush leaves office, how can he pardon anyone for crimes that they can be charged for after they leave office? Does that make any sense?These people have to go to JAIL.If they are charged for crimes while in office Bush will certainly pardon the crooks.

Posted by: DIM | June 5, 2007 02:21 PM

Let's see. Thirty months is just about right to complete a book probably titled "I did nothing wrong." It's even time to review the galley proofs and ready the whopping pre-publication bucks to sail into comfortable retirement UNLESS a lobbyist recruiter dangles some greenbacks that might make him change his mind. The only thing that could disrupt this scenario would be an untimely pardon. Guess which one happens first!

Posted by: vicsoir | June 5, 2007 02:22 PM

Prosecutor Fitzgerald did the best job he could but unfortunately the really bad guys have (thus far) escaped justice. America will be soooooo much better off when lying Cheney and repugnant Rove are both wearing prison stripes.

Posted by: Axeman | June 5, 2007 02:23 PM

Schadenfreude -

Yes, there was a recent quote that came to light concerning the elder Bush administration and the obligation to take the hit for the Chief. The quote was about John Sununu, and the consigliere who uttered it was . . . Bush the Son. No one should be under the illusion that Libby will ever spend an hour in jail. Bush WILL pardon him; it is as certain as it was in October 2001 that the U.S. would invade Iraq. Any public indication that a decision-making process is under way is misdirection.

Posted by: casp7 | June 5, 2007 02:25 PM

The fact that I am a democrat and do not support most of the policies of this administration, does not give me joy in seeing someone like Mr Libby go to jail. Yes, I believe there was a crime commited in the outing of a covert CIA operative, however, I would rather Dick Cheney get a public humiliation for the intense dislike and sometimes hatred that he has exhibited toward any American that dares to question the justification for this war in any way.

When has it become morally right to assassinate people's character just to advance a flawed policy or sell a wrong war? And please to all you republicans out there, Mr. Libby did commit a crime; it is called obstruction of justice--remember Bill Clinton that you despised so much?

The wrong man is going to jail...may be he deserves it!!

Posted by: Al Atlanta | June 5, 2007 02:27 PM

Come on, Bill Clinton, lied to a federal Judge and walked. Valerie Plame has given three different stories under oath on how she sent she husband to Niger, with no charges against her. Fitzgerald knew there was no crime before he started his investigation and that the best he could do was to try to trap one of Bush's people in telling a lie. And that's what happen here. Libby should walk but instead we have another Judge and prosecutor playing political hit men for the democrat party.

And Bush's rape room??? Come on, growup and stop smoking that stuff.

Posted by: Rob | June 5, 2007 02:33 PM

Funny how all the conservatives are talking about how "no real crime" was committed here. Is there any doubt whatsoever that if this was a Democratic administration, they'd be shouting "treason" at the top of their lungs? The Democrats need to pursue these things more vigorously.

Posted by: A. L. Flanagan | June 5, 2007 02:34 PM

So a Show Trial in the best of the old Soviet traditions with Patrick Fitzgerald doing his best imitation of Andrei Vyshinsky comes to an end with Judge Walton'd ridiculous sentencing. Fitzgerald set new standards for prosecutorial misconduct. From the day of his appointment he knew exactly who "outed" Valerie Plame to Bob Novak and knew that person would never be convicted under the relevant statute yet pursued his "case" like Ahab chasing Moby Dick until he managed to convince an "unbiased" DC jury that a man with a long and distinguished record of public service, a man working 20 hours a day, five days a week, week on end, a man with a notoriously poor memory, a man who never even lawyered up in a serious way until he was indicted, was guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. In the meantime, in his obsessive pursuit he threw one journalist in jail and threatened others with same. But where or where were the guardians of freedom of the press at the New York Times, etc.? Oh, that's right, it's Republican we're talking about here. A thorough and utter disgrace. Bush needs to pardon him and pardon right now.

Posted by: Bill Harrison | June 5, 2007 02:40 PM

Look at the names on those letters asking for sweet landing for Libby...including SHARANSKY!, and others. Where was AIPAC, one and all?
Of the original cabal we now have
Libby, Feith and Wolfowitz out there...when shall we hear of the rest?

Posted by: safer | June 5, 2007 02:45 PM

My Grandfather believed in the "Jewish Conspiracy". My Father Believes in a Democratic Conspiracy. I've come to believe in the Republican Confederacy of Fools.

Posted by: Gilchrist | June 5, 2007 02:55 PM

I feel for both the Libby and Harrison families today.

The American legal system circa 2000 equals the Communist show trials of the 1920s and 1930s?

That's one of the stupidest analogies I've ever heard since, well, whenever Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh last spoke.

Posted by: JP2 | June 5, 2007 03:14 PM

JP2

Another idiot heard from who probably hasn't the slightest knowledge of the minutiae of the case.

Posted by: | June 5, 2007 03:17 PM

Gilchrist

Based on most of the comments I've read on this thread, it would seem Pope's Confederacy of Dunces has been reconstituted.

Posted by: Bill Harrison | June 5, 2007 03:19 PM

There is "no underlying crime" because Libby did his job. He obfuscated and misdirected investigators by lying. This seems to be grounds for punishment..Otherwise every criminal would be well served by lying and doing easier time....Do you understand now or do I need to say it slower?

Posted by: pegleg | June 5, 2007 03:20 PM

"the truth matters ever so much." ...except if your a Democratic president and lie about sex to a federal prosecutor. Fitzgerald spent lots of time and money and this is the best case he could make...pathetic. Despite what some have said, Fitzgerald never said that Plame was covert and the sponsors of this law said she did not come under it's jurisdiction.
It's going to be interesting to watch the media and Dems become apologists for William Jefferson as time goes on.

Posted by: truthseeker | June 5, 2007 03:20 PM

Someone really needs to do a stats check to see how many convictions of high ranking, appointed officials occurred under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II.

Bet I know the answer:

1. Reagan
2. Bush II
3. Bush III - still have many to go
4. Clinton (total 1, so that you know that Clinton's administration will end up in this position).

Now, where is the corruption? Stats don't lie.

Posted by: mikes | June 5, 2007 03:25 PM

Well if no crime was commited then why was he convicted? Dont give me the hogwash about Fitz knew who outaded Plame before the investigation. And that old story about why or who recommended her husband for the trip is B.S, has anything he found been disproved, nope... Let see Ken Starr started with Whitewater and 42 million dollars and 7 years later he goes after Clinton for an extra marital affair, yep i can see the connection between that an Libby. NOT

Posted by: American First | June 5, 2007 03:28 PM

"Libby should walk but instead we have another Judge and prosecutor playing political hit men for the democrat party.

LOL! The judge is a Reagan appointee who was recently appointed by Justice Roberts to take part in the FISA courts. The prosecutor is a Bush appointee who made a name for himself by prosecuting Democrats in Chicago.

Turn off the right-wing talk radio, take a deep breath, and ask yourself if you've been inhaling too deeply on the partisan propaganda.

Posted by: | June 5, 2007 03:37 PM

Maybe the Scoot can get a cell with Paris. Then if we could post the video on You tube....

What about the possibility of Fitz "turning" Scoot to testify on Cheney/Bush. The one thing that can effectively do that is the threat of the slammer. If he is free until appeal, that threat is nullified. Walton knows this and therefore I would take Andrew's bet.

Should this come to pass, would Cheney advocating a pardon to Bush constitute Obstruction of Justice? Any takers?

Posted by: WOW | June 5, 2007 03:40 PM

looks like the spin machine has worked on this as much as the reason for the iraq war, and people are buying it with just as much ignorance. iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and scooter was not convicted for the leak itself. he was convicted for lying to investigators and lying to a grand jury UNDER OATH. it doesn't matter what the underlying investigation is; what matters is that he lied. he lied and a jury found him guilty of those lies. judge walton did the right thing, and he did a very good job explaining why so many of you in this forum are confused. (and for those who call judge walton another liberal? you are funny. he is one of the most conservative judges on the bench. and brilliant as judges come.)

Posted by: tired in dc | June 5, 2007 03:42 PM

Libby commited a seriuos crime and now he has been convicted. He should be sent to prison along with Bush, Cheney and the rest of the punk brown shirt NAZIs they have lieing for them on a daily basis. Bush will pardon him and then give him a job showing Americans why we need to attack Russia next. Bush and Cheney and the gang are traitors and prison is to good for them,

Posted by: Bob S | June 5, 2007 03:42 PM

Libby commited a seriuos crime and now he has been convicted. He should be sent to prison along with Bush, Cheney and the rest of the punk brown shirt NAZIs they have lieing for them on a daily basis. Bush will pardon him and then give him a job showing Americans why we need to attack Russia next. Bush and Cheney and the gang are traitors and prison is to good for them,

Posted by: Bob S | June 5, 2007 03:42 PM

WHAT ABOUT PLAMES THREE DIFFERENT STORIES, WHEN DOES SHE EXPLAIN THEM?

Posted by: GARY | June 5, 2007 03:42 PM

Libby commited a seriuos crime and now he has been convicted. He should be sent to prison along with Bush, Cheney and the rest of the punk brown shirt NAZIs they have lieing for them on a daily basis. Bush will pardon him and then give him a job showing Americans why we need to attack Russia next. Bush and Cheney and the gang are traitors and prison is to good for them,

Posted by: Bob S | June 5, 2007 03:43 PM

Okay guys, the CIA said that she was covert. Guess what that means..........she was covert.

To Bill Harrison:
Do you believe that Scooter and Cheney never discussed ways to discredit Mr. Wilson??? There's proof that they had a discussion about that very fact.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU REPUBLICANS?? Guess what guys, Rep. Jefferson from Louisiana is a scroundrel. He had 90 grand in cash in a freezer. 'Nuff said. I hope he goes to jail for many years for his crimes. BUT WHY DO YOU PEOPLE PUT YOUR PARTY AHEAD OF YOUR COUNTRY?? YOU PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO BACK YOUR REPS EVEN WHEN THE EVIDENCE AGAINST THEM IS OVERWHELMING AND FOR THAT YOU ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED. YOU PEOPLE ARE UNAMERICAN IN EVERY WAY.

Posted by: Terrence | June 5, 2007 03:44 PM

Good. A little justice is better than no justice.

Posted by: | June 5, 2007 03:47 PM

It's so frustrating to see people supporting a pardon for Mr. Libby, who is clearly guilty as charged. I find it absolutely baffling and very disturbing. His is no everyday crime, as it is part of an ongoing conspiracy to mislead and rule the American people, even if it means participating in treason.

Posted by: Gsrdenia | June 5, 2007 03:51 PM

OK one more question...can Bush pardon himself? Oh to think of it.....

Posted by: WOW | June 5, 2007 03:52 PM

Harrison/Anon 3:17 PM,

The problem with your analogy is that it doesn't even require any understanding of the minutae of this particular case. It just requires a basic knowledge of the two legal systems in comparison--American legal systems circa 2000 and the Soviet legal systems 1920-1930. Just on that basis the analogy is falls apart.

We could even look JUST at the outcomes of Scooter Libby's trial verses a typical "Show Trial" sentence . . .

e.g. A 30 month criminal sentence versus several years in a forced labor/death camp.

I mean it requires some level of idiot savantry to make a clumsily hyperbolic analogy that falls apart on so many levels.

I haven't even dealt with the inevitable "double-standard" kicker at the end of the statement.

The even bigger kicker is that the "Show Trials" equals "unjustice" equals "Democrats would be treated differently" formulation, which is just so incredibly pathetic. Maybe on some poetic level there is some truth to this--e.g. life is unfair and those who gravitate towards Bush Republicanism do seem to have been dealt an unfair shake in the political intelligence department.

But I mean, come on. When a person throws out "Show Trials" they aren't even trying. It's just embarrasing.

Posted by: JP2 | June 5, 2007 03:52 PM

When I look at this case I go back to Deep Throat's old quote about looking at the overall picture. In other words, I think the whole cover up was for the purposes of electoral politics.
Everyone in the administration continued to lie, obfuscate and
bully in order to keep the Bush Cheney re-election prospect on track. Rove knew this would have been the smoking gun for the average voter, so he, the best and the brightest all conspired to keep the lid on it. Even as good an attorney as Fitzgerald had trouble flushing out these cornered rats who show no remorse.
In 50 plus years I have never been so cynical about government as I have become because of this administration. Everything they touch bercomes poisoned; all the wells they drink from become deadly to the political well being of the country.
They are weasels in silk pajamas.

Posted by: JoeRz | June 5, 2007 04:01 PM

Let's see if this is correct. Adultery is not a crime in Washington D.C., (otherwise, we'd have a very empty house and senate). However, Clinton lied under oath regarding having sex with Monica. So there was not an "underlying" crime to his perjury. Didn't stop the "Con-Dumbs" from impeaching him, and a federal judge from striping Bill's law license and fining him.

So to all of the "Con-Dumb" whiners, get over it. You loved the rule of law when it was applied to a sitting president, but when it is one of your guy, it's "what crime?".

Perjury, lying to a Federal officer, and obstruction of justice are crimes. Period!

That is what "Scooter" has been found guilty of, and now sentenced for. The system works only when people under oath tell the truth.

Why should rich, influential, politicians get a free ride. They shouldn't, they should be held to the same if not a higher standard.

Posted by: Tom Paine | June 5, 2007 04:15 PM

Too bad the Republicans/NEOCONS have reduced the DOJ to an expression of Republican political ideals. We will never see justice if we rely on the DOJ.

The Cheney administration must be confronted... where the heck are the several million Rove emails that were subpoena'd by the Senate Judiciary Comm. ? I understand that they are in the hands of Mr. Rove's attorney and that they arrived there through the complicity of the DOJ.... wonder why it is so important to keep those emails away from everyone?

Impeach Cheney and his poodle and their administration. Give Scooter some cell mates even though I am certain that Cheney has some money set aside to reward his loyalty...

Posted by: Nobody Knows | June 5, 2007 04:20 PM

The fact remains that no one was charged because Libby obstructed the investigation and prevented the prosecutor from bringing an indictment. For this reason he was found guilty.

Posted by: Natal | June 5, 2007 04:40 PM


> Fitzgerald knew there was no crime before he started his investigation

Ah, Fitzgerald came on the scene fairly late, at the very end of December 2003. And he didn't start the investigation, it was handed off to him by DOJ after Attorney General Ashcroft recused himself on seeing the results of the past three months of DOJ-conducted investigation.

Why did DOJ keep the investigation going that long after receiving the CIA crimes report in September if DOJ didn't see reason to believe that an IIPA violation had been committed?

Posted by: TexLex | June 5, 2007 04:47 PM

Again I ask, why do you republicans continue to put your party before your country??? Libby is guilty. Jefferson is guilty. What's right is right, regardless of political affiliation. Do any of you want to discuss this??? Bill Harrison??? Truthseeker??? Gary??? Nothing to say???

Posted by: Terrence | June 5, 2007 04:47 PM

WHAT ABOUT PLAMES THREE DIFFERENT STORIES, WHEN DOES SHE EXPLAIN THEM? - Gary

Frankly, we don't care. That's totally irrelevant.

But she may do that at the Civil Trial when she goes after Libby, Rove and Armitage.

Got insurance, boys?

Posted by: | June 5, 2007 05:08 PM

New book in the works

IF I Lied to a Grand Jury, this is how I did it.

Posted by: New Orleans book title | June 5, 2007 05:10 PM

New book in the works

IF I Lied to a Grand Jury, this is how I did it.

Posted by: book title | June 5, 2007 05:10 PM

R Ward: The special prosecutor statute has long expired. Even when it was in effect, no politicians were involved in selecting the SP's; instead, they were picked by judges. Fitzgerald is not as special prosecutor. As TexLex points out, he was assigned the case by AG Ashcroft to resolve a conflict of interest.

Posted by: Tony | June 5, 2007 05:15 PM

Justice demands Libby be sent to GITMO posthaste to be tortured 24/7 until he cracks and exposes who he was covering up for in committing TREASON against the United States and our values of Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class Way of Life.

But that would be justice, something we peons never get in Soviet America.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 5, 2007 07:14 PM

Bush only pardons Turkeys.

Posted by: rj2z | June 5, 2007 07:40 PM

Bush only pardons Turkeys.

Posted by: rj2z | June 5, 2007 07:40 PM

"the truth matters EVER SO MUCH" Oh, puh-leeze! Patrick Fitzgerald! Except, and only if, it doesn't apply to the LIAR AND CONCEALERS OF INFORMATION AT THE DOJ, NOW DOESN'T IT?

Right off the bat, I'm thinking Paul McNulty, the deputy AG of the DOJ-hope he's "lawyering up" for the next round-and gee, wonder who he's going to blame next-after that very unflattering Legal Times article about him, and his bungling prosecutors in the Moussaoui case-yeah, the LT got THAT RIGHT!

Ole' Paul, and his AG Gonzales -now those two are a pair of lyin' little bookends-and as for those so-called "career" prosecutors-most of them (and particularly those who work in the Eastern District of Virginia) are simply "thugs"-masquerading as prosecutors!

So, Fitzgerald, spare us your little "importance of the "TRUTH" BS-as we all WELL know, DOJ officials wouldn't recognize THE TRUTH if it jumped up and bit them twice on the ass!

So once you clean up your own very dirty Department, with people who place "truth," "accuracy" and "integrity" in serving the PEOPLE, instead of trying to blame everyone else for their own considerable defaults-THEN I might listen to your blarney!

You might also want to give some "ethics" seminars to those grand "career" prosecutors and DOJ lawyers (particularly in the EDVA) as well, since some of them seem to have no trouble at all misleading and deceiving federal judges-a very serious charge indeed-but thank Paul McNulty for that!

The Department of Justice is rotten to the core, and makes me retch!

Posted by: arrabbiato | June 5, 2007 08:22 PM

"In addition to all of the appellate issues raised during the trial itself, Libby now can argue that Judge Walton incorrectly factored into his sentencing decision the underlying event -- the leaking to the public of CIA Agent Valerie Plame Wilson's name -- even though no one ever was charged with (much less convicted of) that crime."

What nonsense is this? The Washington Post should be embarrassed to run such hackery. Oh, wait, I forgot Fred Hiatt. The paper clearly feels no shame.

Sentencing for obstruction of justice can't consider the underlying crime when the obstruction is successful? Really? Scooter was just obstructing Fitz for fun, I suppose?

If a murder's accomplice successfully obstructs justice so that a conviction can't be obtained on the murder itself, you're saying the motive for the obstruction should be ignored?

Or does your theory of justice only apply to rich right wingers?

Something tells me you wouldn't feel so charitable to some black drug dealer caught interfering with witnesses to a shooting.

Posted by: Jon Hendry | June 5, 2007 08:33 PM

Speaking of pardons, if Bush wants an amnesty for illegal aliens, could he just issue a blanket pardon for all of them on his way out?

Posted by: Jon Hendry | June 5, 2007 08:43 PM

Libby was NOT sentenced yesterday.

No, the judge said he would sentence Libby to 30 months next week, after he consulted with probation officers on the structure of the sentence.

So he's given Libby a week to write a McCord letter?

Posted by: Cliff | June 6, 2007 09:30 AM

Cliff - Yesterday was a sentencing hearing. Yet everybody talks about the sentence which Judge Walton handed down.

What happens next week?

After time to consider additional input (probation, a McCord letter (I'm not holding out hope, but it's interesting to consider) Judge Walton then enters a Judgment and Commitment order?

Posted by: DC | June 6, 2007 11:39 AM

Here's the sad thing, Citizen Kane. Those who are favored to win, AREN'T TRULY INTERESTED IN CLEANING UP THE MESS.

Posted by: Van | June 6, 2007 11:48 AM

Great idea, send Scooter to Gitmo.

Posted by: Ted | June 6, 2007 11:49 AM

Gee I wonder who you are, arrabiato. You might change some of your catch phrases if you want to use a different name. That said, some of your points are good.

Posted by: Genovese | June 6, 2007 11:52 AM

And Citizen Kane, GW thinks that "freedom" and democracy has to be forced on people, just as our media/commercial complex think the masses have to be sold/TRAINED for their own "liberation". They are the opposite of believing in the masses' ability of critical thought and individual choice. There might be some truth in this, but goes against the assumptions required by the nebulously laissez-faire sort of populism we have now, and the ends subversively and surreptitiously pushed for are to my mind ATROCIOUS.

Posted by: Vance | June 6, 2007 12:04 PM

This meme that Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed by politicians with an ax to grind is particularly amusing.

For what is worth, when Plame's identity was revealed by Bob Novak, both the executive and legislative branches (that translates into the House, the Senate, and the White House) were under republican control. The same situation existed several months later when Fitzgerald was appointed by James Comey, the *Republican* Deputy Attorney General, under John Ashcroft, the *Republican Attorney General*.

Judge Walton is also a Republican appointee.

If anyone had a chance to beat a rap (given this scenario) Scooter Libby certainly did.

So how is this a Democratic vendetta against Scooter Libby? And who is he a scapegoat for?

Posted by: Darcy | June 6, 2007 01:46 PM

The Obstruction of Justice is why no crime was uncovered.

Posted by: Muddy | June 6, 2007 05:08 PM

I think the total for Reagan and Bush I combined was 137 indictments for felons, and zero for Clinton for crimes while in office. President Clinton was not offically indicted.
Bush II already has several convictions of his appointees.

Posted by: Muddy | June 6, 2007 05:33 PM

Fitzgerald knew early on that Armitage leaked Plame's "non-covert" status. This case was a farce from the beginning. Pardon the poor guy.

Posted by: truthseek | June 7, 2007 11:18 PM

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