President Donald Trump issued his third pardon on Friday, granting clemency to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a former top aide in the George W. Bush administration.
Libby, a close associate of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted in 2007 of obstructing justice, perjury and lying to the FBI.
He was set to serve 30 months in jail, but Bush commuted his sentence.
Libby was a central figure in the leaking of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity.
Since then, the Libby case has been criticized by conservatives, who argue he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel.
Former FBI director James Comey — who at the time was serving as deputy attorney general — was the one who appointed a special prosecutor in the Plame case.
Plame told MSNBC on Friday that the pardon said more about the president and those around him than her or Libby.
“It’s not about me, it’s absolutely not about ‘Scooter’ Libby, it’s about Donald Trump and his future,” she said. “It’s very clear that this is a message he is sending that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned.”
Trump has granted two other pardons since taking over the White House, a move usually reserved for a president’s final year in office.
He granted one last year to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court.
Trump also pardoned a U.S. Navy sailor who was convicted after taking photos of classified portions of a submarine.
© 2018 New York Daily News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.