Well, that was fast.
Smile, Scooter! President George W. Bush has just commuted your sentence!
The President wiped away Libby’s prison term, but the $250,000 fine will stand.
Here’s the grant of executive clemency and the President’s statement, which reads in part:
I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.
My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.
The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby’s case is an appropriate exercise of this power.
Is Lady Justice weeping, or doing the wave? Here’s an open thread for comment and debate.