Years ago, when one of the weirder “leaks” of the George W. Bush administration was being investigated by a special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, the name “Scooter Libby” came into the American household. This was the man, supposedly, who “outed” a CIA employee by the name of Valerie Plame. Plame was not a covert operative, so it was always confusing as to why her exposure warranted a special counsel let alone the overreach, but someone out there thought it did.
As a result of the hounding witch hunt to find the leaker, somebody had to take the fall, and in the end it was Scooter Libby, an assistant to then Vice President Dick Cheney.
In 2007 when the conviction of perjury was hung around Libby’s neck, then President Bush commuted his sentence and Libby did community service and paid a fine. About the same time, future President Donald Trump called the conviction for what it was.
Speaking to Wolf Blitzer in 2007, Trump bemoaned Libby’s predicament.
“I think he probably took a bullet for the administration, but so far the administration hasn’t been so loyal to him,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I think he probably will, because otherwise he’s going to see some horrible books written by Scooter Libby.”
On Friday, without even meeting the man, President Trump made the conviction go away despite calls from various circles that there were conflicts of interest around the President when it comes to Libby.
Joe diGenova, who recently considered joining Trump's legal team confirms his wife, Victoria Toensing, who was also looking at joining the Trump legal team, is Scooter Libby's attorney.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 13, 2018
Mr. Acosta would do well to remember that diGenova and his wife refused to work for the administration pointing out conflicts of interest as the reason.
In a statement, Trump conceded he has no personal relationship with Libby, whose case has been held up by conservatives as an example of a special counsel overstepping his bounds.
“I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “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.”