Lewis “Scooter” Libby is a former top aide in the George W. Bush administration, serving as chief of staff to then-Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was convicted in 2007 of obstructing justice, perjury and lying to the FBI.
He was involved in what is now known as the “Plame affair”, in which the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame was leaked. Although no one was charged with the actual leak, Libby was convicted of lying to FBI investigators.
Libby was pardoned by President Donald Trump in April 2018, completely absolving him of his prior convictions.
Here are five things you probably don’t know about the former top aide in Washington.
1. George W. Bush Commuted Libby’s Original Sentence
Libby was convicted of lying to the FBI and was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2007. A month later, President George W. Bush commuted (changed) his prison sentence. The new sentence still required Libby to complete a two-year probation, pay $250,000 fine, and perform 400 hours of community service. This commutation fell short of Dick Cheney’s recommendation to grant a full pardon and exonerate his chief of staff of any wrong-doing. In 2018, President Trump’s pardon did just that-providing full legal forgiveness for Libby’s crime and restore all of his civil rights.
2. James Comey Appointed A Special Counsel To Oversee Libby’s Case
In 2007, James Comey was the deputy attorney general, and appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation into Libby. You’ve probably heard the name “Comey” once or twice in the past year. He served as FBI Director from 2013-2017 when he was fired by Trump. He’ll also be releasing a tell-all book about the 45th in April, 2018. Some speculate that this pardon is an attempt by the Trump administration to discredit Comey and his investigational direction. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if Trump chose to retaliate against someone who said he was “unethical and untethered to truth.”
3. Trump Has Never Met Libby
Although never having met Libby, Trump knows his story and apparently feels for the guy. “I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House press secretary. “But 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.”
4. Libby Was Not Allowed To Vote Or Practice Law While Serving His Sentence
Even with President Bush’s commutation, for years, Libby was without many of his civil rights. His voting rights were restored in 2013 by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Three years later, he was cleared to practice law again after the District of Columbia Court of Appeals reinstated him to the D.C. Bar. Now, in April 2018, Libby has been completely pardoned by President Donald Trump.
5. Actor David Andrews Played Scooter Libby In The Movie, Fair Game
Fair Game is a 2010 biographical political film about the Plame affair, a CIA leak scandal that involved the blown cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Naomi Watts stars as Plame and Sean Penn as her husband, Joseph C. Wilson. David Andrews plays Scooter Libby in the film.