Valerie Plame denounces potential Libby pardon

President Donald Trump speaks during an event on tax policy in the Rose Garden of the White House Thursday

President Donald Trump speaks during an event on tax policy in the Rose Garden of the White House Thursday

Libby was chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and was convicted of perjury during a case involving the leak of a Central Intelligence Agency operative's identity.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby in 2007. "He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted".

Libby was convicted of making false statements, perjury and obstruction of justice in the 2007 investigation of Plame, a former covert Central Intelligence Agency agent and the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson IV. It turns out that the justice department official who appointed the special prosecutor who went after Scooter Libby was none other than President Trumps current nattering nemesis of negativism, James Comey.

Apart from all that, an added sweetness attaches to the Libby pardon. I described my findings in a 2015 memoir about high-stakes journalism, The Story, A Reporter's Journey.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted the pardon was not meant to send a message to the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying, "One thing has nothing to do with the other". Rizzo told me in an interview and subsequently wrote in his own book that "dozens, if not hundreds of people in Washington" knew that Plame worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. Wilson believed her name was leaked by the Bush administration as part of a smear campaign against him. Though Fitzgerald knew this, Rizzo's crucial Central Intelligence Agency finding became public only after his book was published.




Fitzgerald refused to discuss the case with me after the trial.

Plame's identity, it turned out, was leaked to journalist Robert Novak not by the White House, but by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

Still others view it as an ominous sign as indictments continue to grow in Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. She continued, "Ever since I got out of jail and began trying to look into the details of the Scooter Libby case..." Conservative Republicans had sought a pardon for Libby for years after former Vice President Dick Cheney was unable to persuade Bush to grant one late in his presidency. Given the involvement of Russians trying to undermine the United States, the evidence Mr. Mueller may already have collected could well be even uglier than deliberately burning a C.I.A. spy for political gain.

Fitzgerald criticized the pardon Friday and the idea that Libby was a victim of his investigation.

What's interesting about the pardoning of Libby, who Trump playfully dissociates himself from in the White House statement, nearly to underline that the pardon was not about justice or Libby at all, is both the association and the timing.

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