Trump Just Pardoned Scooter Libby

Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff had been convicted of obstruction of justice.

Scooter Libby in 2015. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

President Trump has officially pardoned Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney who had been convicted of obstruction of justice in a 2003 leak of a CIA operative’s identity. Libby was also convicted for lying before a grand jury and to federal investigators. 

“I don’t know Mr. Libby,” President Trump said in a statement Friday, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.”

Not everyone agreed. “President Trump’s pardon of Scooter Libby makes clear his contempt for the rule of law,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said in a statement. “This pardon sends a troubling signal to the President’s allies that obstructing justice will be rewarded…Neither the President nor his allies are above the law.” 

Trump has previously pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of contempt of court and faced up to six months in jail.

Some observers have speculated that Trump’s motives in pardoning Libby might be intertwined with the president’s current legal problems. The move, writes James Hohmann of the Washington Post, “is the latest signal to his associates that he has the power and inclination to reward those who stay loyal during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate