Tuesday, July 03, 2007

George Bush Obstructs Justice

I'm not surprised but I'm still outraged. It's so blatantly corrupt...

Marcy says:
Well, George did it. Made sure that Scooter wouldn't flip rather than do jail time. He commuted Libby's sentence, guaranteeing not only that Libby wouldn't talk, but retaining Libby's right to invoke the Fifth.

This amounts to nothing less than obstruction of justice.

Digby says:
So Bush did it. The bastard commuted little Scooter's sentence, leaving the conviction in place. I'm not a lawyer, but I have to assume that this means he can still appeal --- which means he can still take the fifth if the congress calls him to to testify. Very convenient.

Fitzgerald says:

We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.

Jane says:

As Marcy points out, the idea that the President who is currently pushing to restore minimum sentencing guidelines would give a happy hootie about an “excessive” sentence for Scooter Libby or anyone else is laughable. (He is, after all, the man who openly mocked Karla Faye Tucker before putting her to death.) By commuting Libby’s sentence rather than pardoning him, Bush insures that Scooter will remain silent and be able to invoke the fifth before before Congress and not risk being cited for contempt. This president’s contempt for the rule of law is thorough and complete.

Fitzgerald is an honest prosecutor who worked like a dog for this conviction and got mocked by pissy members of the beltway entitlement set for his efforts. Now his work gets swept away by the chief crook seeking to obstruct justice. I’m gonna guess he’s righteously pissed. I know I am.

Josh says:

Many others will note this but I feel obliged to do so for the record. The real offense here is not so much or not simply that the president has spared Scooter Libby the punishment that anyone else would have gotten for this crime (for what it's worth, I actually find the commutation more outrageous than a full pardon). The deeper offense is that the president has used his pardon power to shortcircuit the investigation of a crime to which he himself was quite likely a party, and to which, his vice president, who controls him, certainly was.

The president's power to pardon is full and unchecked, one of the few such powers given the president in the constitution. Yet here the president has used it to further obstruct justice. In a sense, perhaps we should thank the president for bringing the matter full circle. Began with criminality, ends with it.


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