A pardon in the works for indicted Cheney aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby? Could be.
Writes Tom Brune in Newsday:
Now that top White House aide Karl Rove is off the hook in the CIA leak probe, President George W. Bush must weigh whether to pardon former vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the only one indicted in the three-year investigation.
Speculation about a pardon began in late October, soon after Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald unsealed the perjury indictment of Libby, and it continued last week after Fitzgerald chose not to charge Rove.
“I think ultimately, of course, there are going to be pardons,” said Joseph diGenova, a former prosecutor and an old Washington hand who shares that view with many pundits.
“These are the kinds of cases in which historically presidents have given pardons,” said the veteran Republican attorney.
The White House remains mum on the president’s intentions. Spokeswoman Dana Perino declined to comment Friday.
Bush has powerful incentives to pardon Libby, however. They range from rewarding past loyalty to ending the awkward revelations emerging from pretrial motions, a flow that could worsen in his trial next year.