SEVERE WX : Freeze Watch View Alerts

5 reasons that perfectly explain why Donald Trump pardoned Scooter Libby

On Friday, President ...

Posted: Apr 14, 2018 1:01 PM
Updated: Apr 14, 2018 1:01 PM

On Friday, President Donald Trump pardoned Scooter Libby.

At first glance, it was a very odd move.

After all, Trump conceded in issuing the pardon that he didn't know Libby at all. And even George W. Bush, who worked closely with Libby when the latter served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, refused to pardon Libby, who had been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007 for his role in the leaking of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Bush commuted Libby's sentence, resisting the pardon push led by Cheney among others. (Bush's unwillingness to pardon Libby led to a break in the relationship between the outgoing president and his second-in-command.)

Other than acknowledging he didn't know Libby, Trump offered only this comment about the pardon: "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."

So, what gives? Why Libby? And as importantly, why now?

Here are a few ideas to explain Trump's motivations in all of this:

1. He wants to send a message about out-of-control special prosecutors

Libby was charged and convicted as the result of a probe by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. Libby allies argued that Fitzgerald was far too aggressive and ventured too far afield in his pursuit of Libby.

A special counsel who is overstepping? Sound familiar?

Just in case you missed the message, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is here to help. "Many people think that Scooter Libby was a victim of a special counsel gone amok," said Conway in a Friday interview with Fox News.

In pardoning Libby, Trump can send a very clear message about how he feels about special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (As if anyone living on planet Earth hadn't received that message before.) He can also send a more subtle message about his willingness to step into the breach for those who he believes have been unfairly persecuted by a special prosecutor.

2. He is friends with Libby's lawyers

Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, the husband-wife legal team, have an association with Libby. And they were expected to join Trump's legal team last month before unnamed "conflicts" ended that plan. We all know that Trump is big one helping his friends and punishing his enemies. Which brings me to...

3. Comey appointed Fitzgerald as special counsel

After Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself in the Plame investigation, a newly installed deputy Attorney General named James Comey was put in charge of the probe. (The similarities between that probe and the Mueller probe are absolutely uncanny.) Comey picked Fitzgerald to run the investigation. And that appointment, eventually, led to Libby's conviction. How could Trump pass up a chance to stick it in the eye of Comey? Answer: He couldn't.

4. Trump has never liked the Bushes

Speaking of sticking it in peoples' eyes, the Libby pardon also functions as a middle finger to the Bush clan. As I noted above, George W. Bush refused to pardon Libby -- a move that enraged Cheney. Then consider that Trump has had a very dicey relationship with the Bush family -- most notably his one-time 2016 primary opponent Jeb Bush and former President George H.W. Bush. To Trump, the Bush clan is everything he hates about politics -- and elites more generally. A family who acts like they are "to the manor born," who discount street fighters like Trump and who turn their noses up at him. Now that he's in charge, why not strike back against all those people who dismissed him? Trump is in charge now -- and he wants to make sure everyone knows it.

5. Trump is no fan of the Intelligence community

The idea of a White House operative being unfairly maligned by the intelligence community fits squarely into Trump's suspicion of a deep-state operation looking to hurt people they don't agree with ideologically. In that way, the Libby case was tailor-made for Trump, as it played into his preconceived notions of the problem within the ranks of the nation's top intelligence agencies. In pardoning Libby, Trump believes he proved his point about the mixed motives of some within the intelligence community.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 42°
Rensselaer
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 33°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Danville
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 39°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 39°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 43°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events