Libby looks for ways to delay going to prison

Attorneys for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby are preparing a last-ditch effort to delay the former White House aide's 2 1/2-year prison sentence.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced Tuesday for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation. He became the highest-ranking White House official sentenced to prison since the Iran-Contra affair.

He requested leniency but a federal judge said he would not reward someone who hindered the investigation into the exposure of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame. Her husband had accused the administration of twisting intelligence to justify the Iraq war.

"Mr. Libby failed to meet the bar. For whatever reason, he got off course," said U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, adding that the evidence of Libby's guilt was overwhelming.

Libby's attorneys immediately sought to put the prison term on hold until his appeals have run out. Walton said he saw no reason to do so but reluctantly gave Libby's attorneys until Thursday to submit legal papers on the issue.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald — who had called for Libby to spend up to three years in prison — will oppose the request.

"We need to make the statement that the truth matters ever so much," Fitzgerald said.

Delaying the sentence would give President Bush more time to consider calls from Libby's allies to pardon the longtime aide.

Bush, traveling in Europe, declined to say Wednesday whether he may pardon Libby.

"Yesterday was a very sad day for Scooter and his family," Bush told reporters, adding that his "heart goes out" to them.

Libby did not apologize and has maintained his innocence.

"It is respectfully my hope that the court will consider, along with the jury verdict, my whole life," he said in brief remarks in court before the sentencing, his first public statement about the case since his indictment in 2005.

Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters about Plame. Fitzgerald questioned Bush and Cheney in a probe that became a symbol of the administration's deepening problems.

"Mr. Libby was the poster child for all that has gone wrong in this terrible war," said defense attorney Theodore Wells. "He has fallen from public grace. It is a tragic fall, a tragic fall."

A Republican stalwart, Libby drew more than 150 letters of support from military commanders and diplomats who praised his government service from the Cold War through the early days of the Iraq war.

Walton also fined Libby $250,000 and placed him on two years probation after his prison sentence expires. There is no parole in the federal system, but Libby would be eligible for release after two years.


On the Net:

Letters to the court defending and opposing Libby:


  1. nigeldh

    It seems that drunk driving is more serious than outing an agent.

    If anyone else had mishandled classified information the way that this White House has, they would be spending many years in jail. See

    The operative word with any classified information is “need to know.”
    Even if some information is only Confidential classification, a person with a Top Secret clearance and no “need to know” is denied access to that information.

  2. Sandra Price

    Since 2000 this Administration has been on a train to destroy American freedoms. This action from Libby was to destroy Ambassador Wilson’s position in America and they used an act of treason to accomplish it.

  3. Steve Horn

    If you’ve ever worked in a classified environment you’re fully aware of the conesquences should you decide to reveal any of the information you’re entrusted with, be it on purpose for personal gain or by accident.

    You also understand that, just because I can see information regarding project “A”, my clearance does not give me the ability to view data from project “B”, nor share my knowledge of project “A” with others, unless they can demonstrate a documented need to know.

    Revealing such information, to a mere mortal like myself or (I assume) nigeldh would hold serious consequence. At the very least I’d be stripped of my clearance and would never work in the field again, more likely I’d be subject to legal actions which would result in my spending far more than 30 months in jail.

    Scooter didn’t just leak information – he outted a covert agent, which is leaning really close to treason or espionage – the lives of the outted agent and any of her associates, had a connection been made, could be in jeapordy, and their mission would be, at best, compromised.

    So Scooter doesn’t want to go to jail? Can’t really blame him, can you? I mean how many criminals really WANT to go to jail? If this administration has any sense of constitutional law, ethics, patriotism or plain human decency they should sit back and allow Scooter to be made an example of.

    Of course, should Scooter decide to show any sense of personal ethics he should be a mensch and do the right thing – he should tell the truth. He should do so even if pardoned.

    In lieu of that, perhaps he should start stocking up on a 30 month supply of soap on a rope.



  4. jennbeez

    Libby’s just trying to minimize the number of days he serves in prison before his scheduled pardon rolls through. Glad the judge isn’t letting him get away with it.

    This is another reason we must impeach Bush/Cheney. To make the varied criminals in his administration serve their full time.

  5. Donnat

    just as scores of administration underlings have already done for Bush, Gonzales, Rumsfeld.

    This is how the GOP rewards you – they do the crime, you do the time.


  6. Access Of Evil

    Libby will stay out of jail on appeal. Then, right before Dumbass turns over the keys, he’ll pardon Libby and any other crooks in the wings.

    Then they’ll all get together in Texas for barbeque and whiskey.

  7. LurkingFromTheLeft

    …the ‘dove’ hunting with Dick –

    …let’s hope Dumbass does hand over the keys to our house –

    …don’t forget, who says he has to vacate the premises? –

    …he’s gonna declare himself Emperor and Ruler for LIFE –


  8. Access Of Evil

    Too bad we can’t hawg tie Dumbass and prevent pardons.

    The “pardon” thing is like having a king.