11 months ago
President Donald Trump has taken some criticism from the left side of the political divide over his pardon for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who served as chief of staff for then-Vice President Dick Cheney. The Wall Street Journal opines that the pardon marks long overdue for Libby eleven years after his 2007 conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the disclosure to the press of a CIA agent’s identity.
In retrospect, the Journal writes, it’s not even clear if there was a crime. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 designates the revelation of a “covert” intelligence agent’s name as a crime, but Valerie Plame was already well known around Washington circles at the time. Moreover, it seems that the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, was on a larger crusade against Libby was part of a larger effort to go after a bigger target — Cheney. Much of the “evidence” that led to Libby’s conviction came from the testimony from New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
“But Ms. Miller later realized her testimony had been mistaken. Ms. Plame published a memoir in late 2007, months after Libby’s trial,” writes the Journal. “In Ms. Miller’s 2015 book, A Reporter’s Story, she writes that one particular point in Ms. Plame’s account immediately caught her eye: Ms. Plame’s CIA ‘cover’ had been as an employee of a State Department bureau. Mr. Libby would have known the CIA has ‘divisions,’ not ‘bureaus.’ He could not, therefore, have been the person who revealed Ms. Plame’s CIA connection to Ms. Miller.”