(UPI) — President Donald Trump plans to pardon I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby — the onetime chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney during the Bush administration, reports said Friday.
Libby was convicted in 2007 of two counts of lying about discussions with reporters, one count of obstruction of justice and a fourth count of making a false statement. He was acquitted of one count of perjury.
Libby’s conviction came after a four-year investigation by a special prosecutor into how the name of CIA official Valerie Plame was leaked to reporters in 2003. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Media outlets ABC News, NBC News, CBS News and The New York Times cited sources in confirming the pardon.
Although the former Cheney aide had his sentence commuted by former President George W. Bush, the conviction remains on his record.
Bush said at the time his decision to grant clemency was “fair and balanced.”
“Would we have had this, you know, endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter? But it’s been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House and it’s run its course and now we’re going to move on,” Bush said in 2007.
Bush later revealed that Cheney was angry at his decision not to formally pardon Libby, with Cheney saying his chief of staff “deserved a presidential pardon.”
Trump has already signed off on the pardon — a move he has been considering for months, ABC News reported.
Many conservatives believed Libby was treated unfairly during his trial by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald — who was appointed by the then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey. Trump’s pardoning of Libby could coincide with the release of Comey’s tell-all memoir.
In August, Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio just weeks after a federal judge found the former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff guilty of ignoring a court order to stop racial profiling in immigration enforcement.