President Bush on Tuesday refused to rule out an eventual pardon for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, leaving open the chance he may wipe away the former White House aide's criminal record after already erasing his prison sentence.
"I rule nothing in or nothing out," Bush said when asked about whether he might pardon Libby before leaving office in January 2009.
The president's stance, on one level, was merely practical. When he commuted Libby's 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case on Monday, a court ruling had made jail time imminent. Bush has plenty of time to consider a pardon, depending on how Libby's appeals go.
At the outset of the CIA-leak investigation, President Bush sternly warned that if any person in his administration "has violated the law, the person will be taken care of." The person was taken care of, all right, just not the way we were led to believe.
Late Monday afternoon, the White House announced that Bush had commuted the pending prison sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the influential vice-presidential chief of staff found guilty of four felony counts of lying to the FBI and a grand jury about the outing of a CIA agent's identity.
Most of America may be shocked and dismayed by President George W. Bush's decision to commute the prison sentence of convicted White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby but the rabid right wing of the Republican Party, the staunch minority of Presidential loyalists, are cheering the President as loudly as they can.
The unfettered glee from the ultra-conservatives is a rare show of support for Bush. The rabid right has never fully trusted Bush and his decision on Libby has put some life into the GOP's dwindling base.
President Bush's decision to spare former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from going to prison — but not pardoning him — may have been an attempt to have it both ways. If so, it appears to have proved only partially successful.
Democrats still slammed Bush's commuting of Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence for obstructing a CIA leak investigation. And while some Republican conservatives applauded the decision, others grumbled that Libby should have been granted a full pardon.
Just when things looked darkest for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, when prison seemed all but certain, President Bush wiped away the former White House aide's 2 1/2-year sentence in the CIA leak case.
Bush's move came Monday, just five hours after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could not delay his prison term. His prospects for an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court seemed bleak. The former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, Libby was just waiting for a date to surrender.
George W. Bush has never really grasped the reality of his failures but, as his doomed Presidency draws to a close, he is uncharacteristically seeking advice from others, trying at least to understand where it all went wrong.
The President is hosting a series of private meetings with authors, historians, philosophers and others in what many see as a too-late attempt to understand his many failures in office.
Yet even in defeat Bush remains typically arrogant and upbeat, convinced that his decisions are the right ones even when the rest of the world -- and even those in his own party -- disagree.
Bush remains what he has always been -- arrogant, delusional and unbowed.
An assistant attorney general at the Justice Department announced her resignation on Friday, becoming the seventh official to quit the department since the Democratic-led Congress launched an investigation in March into the firing of nine federal prosecutors.
Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general for legal policy, said she would step down on July 9. No reason was given.
Brand was nominated to her position on March 29, 2005, and confirmed by the Senate four months later.
Facing stirrings of Republican revolt over Iraq and domestic policy disappointment, US President George W. Bush can at least point to the Supreme Court for an enduring legacy.
America's ultimate constitutional arbiter has tilted rightwards under Bush -- a shift that could endure for decades even if a Democrat returns to the White House in next year's election.
Analysts pointed to a slew of rulings in the court's just-ended 2006-07 term that hit many of the right buttons for Bush's Republican base including on abortion, free speech and affirmative action.
President George W. Bush did not tarry before going fishing on arrival at the family vacation spot in Kennebunkport, where the Atlantic held more promise than angling in the dangerous shoals of Washington.
For Bush, Friday's fishing trip with his father probably did not prove to be more disappointing than wrangling with Congress, run by Democrats, or the sight of fellow Republicans ready to bolt.
Late this week, the Senate buried what was to be his last great legislative initiative of his presidency: immigration reform. And some of his fellow Republicans in Congress have joined the growing chorus against the Iraq war.
Bush, uncharacteristically embittered, promised to meet with Congress after the July 4 Independence Day holiday to work on the budget.
The month of June 2007 may well go down as one of the worst of the Bush presidency.
It was the month the wheels fell off, when the curtain was drawn aside to reveal that the great and mighty wizard was none other than Dick Cheney, when party loyalists began publicly to give up on the administration. It was a month when nothing seemed to go right for the president.