Late Monday, Ted Wells, the attorney for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, issued this statement:
“Mr. Libby and his family wish to express their gratitude for the President’s decision today. We continue to believe in Mr. Libby’s innocence. Scooter and his family appreciate the many Americans who have supported them over the last two years.”Many pundits may spend the 4th of July holiday debating Bush's constitutional right to commute the sentence of a convicted felon. However, I think the real story is in the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Trust, the group that has been "shaking down Republican donors" to help secure his release.
Former Senator Fred Thompson played a major role... even hosting two fundraising events. The Nation had this to say:
According to Thompson, in a speech delivered May 12 to the Council for National Policy, "I didn't know Scooter Libby, but I did know something about this intersection of law, politics, special counsels and intelligence. And it was obvious to me that what was happening was not right. So I called him to see what I could do to help, and along the way we became friends. You know the rest of the story: a D.C. jury convicted him."
Whatever the facts of their relationship, however, there is no debating Thompson's loyalty to Libby. He is the leading proponent of a presidential pardon for the convicted felon. And he regularly uses his prominence as a TV lawyer to accuse the man who brought Libby to justice, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, of "perverting the rule of law."
In the faux-conservative circles that define the modern Republican Party, Thompson is more closely associated with the defense of the disgraced White House aide than with any particular stand on the issues facing the nation. That's one of the reasons why so many of the true believers in the Bush presidency are so very enthusiastic about Thompson's now likely candidacy to replace Bush.
Time to celebrate Sen. Thompson... your wish may have come true, but it may cost you your campaign at the same time.