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

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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.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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