Monday, December 10, 2007

Scooter Folds, Will Stay Guilty

By Cernig

The AP reports that Scooter Libby has dropped plans to appeal his conviction for perjury and obstruction in the Valerie Plame case.
"We remain firmly convinced of Mr. Libby's innocence," attorney Theodore Wells said. "However, the realities were, that after five years of government service by Mr. Libby and several years of defending against this case, the burden on Mr. Libby and his young family of continuing to pursue his complete vindication are too great to ask them to bear."

President Bush commuted Libby's 30-month jail sentence in July. Libby paid a $250,000 fine and must serve two years' probation. Libby remains a convicted felon, but Bush could issue a full pardon as his administration winds down.

Wells said he has not discussed a possible pardon with the president and does not know what Bush will do.

...The decision to drop his appeal is also a tactical one. Even if a federal appeals court overturned Libby's conviction, it would only lead to a new trial. If Libby were convicted again, a presidential commutation wouldn't apply, meaning he might have to serve jail time. And by that time, President Bush likely would be out of office.
"we remain convinced" my ass. The calculation certainly isn't about money - Libby had bigtime Republican donors on tap to provide legal funds. And if he truly thought he was innocent he would fight his conviction tooth and nail. But as Captain Ed (who appears to have had a couple of scales fall from his eyes this week) notes:
A felony conviction with no prison time apparently suffices for him. Will that change of heart produce a similar shift in opinion about Libby and his conviction for obstruction and perjury? Will people see this as a tacit admission of guilt? If Libby chooses not to pursue vindication, it certainly appears that it holds little value to him -- certainly not the attitude of a wrongly-convicted public servant, especially given the extremely short period of time it took to reach that decision.
No, the calculation is that he would have been found guilty - again - with the commutation Bush granted as a gift for his omerta wiped clean and no fresh pardon in sight. He would have gone to jail.

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