"Mr. Libby's case has always been a cause for conservatives who maintained that he was a victim of a special prosecutor run amok, an argument that may have resonated with the president". He was convicted of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice following the 2003 leak of the identity of Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame.
On April 7, 2015, these columns said the next Republican President should pardon I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby "in his first week in office".
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in a statement Friday that Trump has issued the pardon. After the pardon, she said in a statement that the argument that Libby had been treated unfairly was "simply false". "Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life". No one was ever charged for the leak.
Flynn, Manafort, Kushner and others now know that they don't have to worry about not answering truthfully special counsel Robert Mueller's questions because a Trump pardon will prevent them from spending any time in jail.
Plame was exposed as a Central Intelligence Agency operative during the George W. Bush administration.
In 2007, a federal court found him guilty of four felonies, including lying to investigators and a grand jury, and obstructing justice. The person, who wasn't authorised to discuss the decision ahead of its public announcement and demanded anonymity, said the pardon has been under consideration at the White House for months.
Plame, appearing on MSNBC on Friday before the pardon was issued, said granting one would send a message "that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned".
After the pardon, Libby expressed his gratitude to Trump, according to CNN.
"While the President has the constitutional power to pardon, the decision to do so in this case purports to be premised on the notion that Libby was an innocent man convicted on the basis of inaccurate testimony caused by the prosecution", he said Friday.
The White House said Libby had served "more than a decade of honorable service" before his conviction, that his record is "unblemished" since, and that he "continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers". Before he went to prison, President George W. Bush commuted his sentence, but rejected pleas from Cheney to pardon him.