President Donald Trump issued a full pardon to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, on Friday afternoon for convictions related to a 2007 trial and conviction.
Libby’s sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush shortly after the conviction. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders noted in a statement on the pardon that Libby still paid a $250,000 fine and performed 400 hours of community service. He also served two years of probation.
Sanders recounted in her statement, events involving a key witness against Libby who recanted in 2015:
In 2015, one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said. The next year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law. The Court agreed with the District of Columbia Disciplinary Counsel, who stated that Mr. Libby had presented “credible evidence” in support of his innocence, including evidence that a key prosecution witness had “changed her recollection of the events in question.”
The press secretary further pointed to Libby’s decade of “honorable service to the Nation” in the State Department, Defense Department, and White House before his conviction and similar performance since his conviction. “He continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers,” she wrote.
“In light of these facts, the President believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon,” said Sanders.
President Trump made clear that he doesn’t know Libby, “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.”
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