he respects the jury's verdict? he RESPECTS THE JURY'S VERDICT!!!!!!!???????....
BREAKING: Bush Commutes Libby Sentence
President Bush has spared Scooter Libby from a 2½-year prison term, issuing an order that commutes his sentence, the AP reports. Libby will never have to go to jail, but his felony conviction will stand, and he will still serve two years probation and owe $250,000 in fines.
The Politico reported on June 17:
White House loyalists have begun arguing that clemency for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby — either a pardon or a commuted sentence — would be a way for an embattled President Bush to reassert himself, particularly among conservatives.
The White House has not ruled out a pardon for Libby, sources say. But several Republicans, who sense a movement in Libby’s favor, said a more likely possibility might be a presidential commutation — a reduction or elimination of Libby’s 2½-year federal prison sentence. Such a move, they said, would be less divisive for the country.
UPDATE: On June 5, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that the President was “not going to intervene.”
UPDATE II: From Bush’s statement today:
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 thirty 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.