Bush has refused to rule out the possibility of a full pardon for Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff Lewis Scooter Libby.
Bush commuted Libby's thirty-month prison term Monday shortly after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could not put off serving his sentence while he appealed his conviction. That meant jail time for Libbby was imminent, and the US Bureau of Prisons had already assigned him a prisoner identification number. Libby was convicted in March, the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra scandal. He was found guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in the investigation into who blew the cover of CIA officer Valerie Plame. On Tuesday, Bush defended his decision to reporters outside the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Bush said, "I took this decision very seriously on Mr. Libby. I considered his background, his service to the country, as well as the jury verdict. I felt like the jury verdict ought to stand and I felt like some of the punishments that the judge determined were adequate should stand. But I felt like the 30-month sentencing was severe. I made a judgment, a considered judgment, that I believe is the right decision to make in this case, and I stand by it."
Comment July 5th: It sounds to us that Bush is definitely not considering pardoning Libby, at least not until the very end of Bush's term.