Trump pardons 'Scooter' Libby; Comey had appointed the special counsel

Bharara Libby pardon a political message

Trump leaning toward pardon of Scooter Libby

"Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life", the president said in a statement.

"I don't know Mr. Libby", Trump said in a statement.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) said Sunday that President Donald Trump's pardon of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was meant to send a message about the Russian Federation investigation.

"You would have to believe that the president picked the Scooter Libby out of a hat, out of the thousands of people seeking a pardon, this was a complete coincidence", Schiff said.

Among the allies from the Bush administration who have argued that he was treated unfairly is John R. Bolton, an ally of Mr. Cheney's who served as Mr. Libby maintained he had merely forgotten that he learned about Plame from Cheney. No one, however, was charged for the leak. Fitzgerald was tapped by then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey, and the news of Libby's pardon came hours after excerpts from Comey's new memoir leaked, in which the ex-FBI director is highly critical of the President.

Cheney had suspected that Comey's appointment of the special counsel was revenge for a dispute regarding the legality of a surveillance program, according to the New York Times, which had an advance report on the expected announcement.

Libby had insisted he had a different memory of events than other witnesses, and he didn't intend to deceive investigators.

With Miller's testimony recanted, Libby has been reinstated to the bar in Washington, D.C. that Libby had "credible evidence" he was innocent, the D.C. court of appeals ruled.

A different official who wasn't charged, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, had acknowledged confirming Plame's Central Intelligence Agency connection to the Washington Post before any of Libby's media contacts, according to Politico.

To prove Libby was aware of Plame's status before July 10, Fitzgerald called The New York Times reporter Judith Miller to testify about her conversations with Libby in the early months of 2003.

"But this person who the President doesn't know, who allows him to make a political statement and also to send a message as you suggest to people who are now in the hot seat with respect to the Mueller investigation, I find it very hard to come to any other conclusion than he's sending a message", he continued.

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