In yet another personal attack against President Trump, CNN’s Jake Tapper spread the false claim that Lewis “Scooter” Libby leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
While Tapper’s fan-base on the far left are celebrating Tapper’s spreading of this fake news, those who still hold journalistic integrity in high regard are telling the truth.
Back in 2005, Libby, then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was wrongfully prosecuted by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, the man looking into who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson (who has since revealed herself to be an anti-Semite).
The belief was that her name was leaked in political retaliation for her husband Joe Wilson’s criticism of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq.
The name of the true leaker was Richard Armitage, then our deputy secretary of state, a Deep Stater who forever disgraced himself by not coming forward as the two-year scandal engulfed the Bush administration and innocent men like Libby. To prove just how corrupt and partisan this entire Deep State exercise was (Cheney was the true target), Armitage was never penalized.
Libby, however, was convicted of four process crimes: obstruction of justice, making a false statement, and two counts of perjury. He was then sentenced to 30 months in prison, and to his own disgrace, rather than give Libby the full pardon he deserved, then President George W. Bush only commuted the prison sentence. Libby found himself a convicted felon, which means he lost his law license.
In his piece titled “Trump Is Right to Pardon Scooter Libby,” Bloomberg’s Eli Lake explains why Libby was innocent of all charges:
Libby ended up being convicted of obstructing justice and perjury. He was asked whether he discussed Plame with other journalists. Libby claimed he did not. Other journalists claimed he did.
Even this case is shakier than the partisans would have you believe. Libby’s defense was not allowed to bring in memory experts, who could explain why Libby and other journalists like the late Tim Russert would have conflicting accounts of a phone conversation.
Part of the prosecution’s case rested on the testimony of former New York Times reporter Judith Miller. In her 2015 memoir, Miller wrote that she was compelled eventually to testify falsely against Libby because the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, withheld an important detail from her, as well as the defense.
So, Libby was not only not convicted of leaking Plame’s name, he was also innocent of the process crimes he was convicted of. These objective truths, however, did not stop the far-left Jake Tapper from continuing to spread fake news about Libby.
On Friday, Trump responded to the attacks against him coming from James Comey, the disgraced former head of the FBI. In a tweet, Trump called Comey a “proven LEAKER & Liar.”
Tapper, who remains under the impression that “sick Twitter burnzzz” are a vital part of professional journalism, responded directly to Trump with this misinformation about Libby.
“Calling @Comey a “proven LEAKER & LIAR” while you’re about to pardon Scooter Libby, who leaked the identity of a covert CIA employee and was convicted for lying about it to the FBI — well, that’s quite a thing,” Tapper wrote.
There is one outright falsehood in Tapper’s tweet. The claim that Libby “leaked the identity of a covert CIA employee” is simply not true. And while Tapper is correct that Libby was “convicted for lying about it to the FBI,” we now know this was a false conviction.
Incredibly, even though Judith Miller recanted her testimony (which resulted in Libby getting his law license back from the D.C. Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel — no easy task), Tapper still used Miller to double down on his fake news:
With his reputation in tatters and his ratings in the basement, you would think Tapper would at least try to conceal his anti-Trump activism, or at least not spread provable falsehoods in his sick Twitter burnzzz. Friday again revealed all the worst aspects of a so-called journalist who once enjoyed a sterling reputation on the right and left: his burning hatred for Trump, his self-righteous childishness, and, most of all, his ongoing serial dishonesty.