President Trump isn’t allowing special prosecutor Robert Mueller to get in the way of his plans. He’s still in the midst of the Russia investigation yet he’s been on the verge of signing a controversial pardon for months.
Now it’s happened.
On Friday, Trump officially pardoned Scooter J. Libby, chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney. No one connected to Mueller’s Russia investigation is being pardoned yet.
Trump’s first controversial pardon was Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was convicted on criminal contempt charges after he insisted on detaining illegal immigrants. He was pardoned because Trump recognized that his “crime” was trying to properly police his city.
Libby is a little different. He was caught up in the Valerie Plame mess in 2007. Former President George Bush commuted his sentence but never pardoned him. Conservatives have been clamoring for an official pardon for years.
“I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Trump said in a statement. “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.”
Libby was accused of leaking Plame’s identity to the press. At the time, she was CIA agent in deep cover. During his trial, Libby was caught confusing his dates. People said that they’d heard him mention Plame before her identity was leaked.
Conservatives say that Libby fell victim to overzealous prosecution.
“In light of these facts, the president believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
President Trump is extraordinarily effective. He’s accomplishing most of what he said he would. The Russia investigation is a hassle and an annoyance, but it’s not seriously hindering him. He’s still accomplishing his goals.
Libby’s pardon is controversial because Democrats don’t believe in his innocence.