Libby pardon in works, reports say

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is expected to pardon Lewis "Scooter" Libby, according to a senior administration official, giving an olive branch to a George W. Bush administration aide that the former president himself declined to grant.

It is unclear why Trump is making the move, but the pardon has been under consideration for several months, two people familiar with the president's thinking said. Trump has often privately expressed a willingness to pardon Libby, who was convicted for obstruction of justice and perjury in the disclosure of a CIA agent's name.

Trump could always change his mind, the senior administration official said. The timing of the pardon is unclear.

The news was first reported by ABC News, and it was later reported by The New York Times as well as other news agencies.

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Libby was the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and a contentious figure in the Bush administration.

Bush, whom Trump often derides, could not be persuaded to pardon Libby. He was lobbied aggressively by Cheney, and his refusal was said to have caused a strain in the relationship between the two men.

Trump, who often rails against disclosures to the news media, appears to have chosen to forgive Libby for his role in the disclosure of CIA Agent Valerie Plame's identification.

Libby was convicted of making false statements, perjury and obstruction of justice in the 2007 investigation of Plame, a former covert CIA agent and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV.

Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000, but his sentence was commuted by Bush. Though spared prison time, Libby was not pardoned.

A Section on 04/13/2018

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