If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.
-President Bush, February 11, 2004
And so he shall. In a fit of contempt for the citizens of this country, President Bush commuted Vice President Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Jr’s sentence to no jail time, a $250,000 fine (reportedly to be paid by the likes of Fred Thompson) and two years probation.
“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Bush said in a written statement. “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.”
Just to clarify, the commutation of Libby’s sentence is far worse than a pardon. Here’s why: not only is it now far less likely that “Scooter” will squeal like a pig, but if he were pardoned he would forfeit his Fifth Amendment rights. With the commutation of his sentence, he retains them. Isn’t that nice?
Happy 4th, everybody!