02 July 2007

No Jail for Scooter

On the very day that a federal appeals court ruled that
Libby could not delay his prison term while seeking appeal,
our president speaks:

Both critics and defenders of this investigation
have made important points. I have made my
own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I
am announcing today, I have carefully weighed
these arguments and the circumstances
surrounding this case.

Mr. Libby was sentenced to 30 months of prison,
two years of probation and a $250,000 fine. In
making the sentencing decision, the district court
rejected the advice of the probation office, which
recommended a lesser sentence and the
consideration of factors that could have led to a
sentence of home confinement or probation.

I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded
that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is
excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the
portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him
to spend 30 months in prison.

My decision to commute his prison sentence
leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby.
The reputation he gained through his years of
public service and professional work in the legal
community is forever damaged. His wife and
young children have also suffered immensely. He
will remain on probation. The significant fines
imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The
consequences of his felony conviction on his
former life as a lawyer, public servant and
private citizen will be long-lasting.

The Constitution gives the president the power of
clemency to be used when he deems it to be
warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation
of the prison term in Mr. Libby's case is an
appropriate exercise of this power.

And so it goes. Libby gets his reward for keeping his
mouth shut -- no jail time and a slap on the wrist. Bush
and Cheney get to sweep their crimes under the rug and
obstruct justice. And the press goes back to reporting
important stuff like missing pregnant women and inept
Scottish terrorists.

Party on!

UPDATE: TPMmuckraker has reaction from Joe Wilson.