Friday, June 01, 2007

Libby To Face Judge Next Tuesday

In advance of next Tuesday's sentencing of Scooter Libby, both the prosecution and the defense have now filed their recommendations as to what punishment would be best for Vice President Cheney's convicted former top aide.

Defense lawyers argued yesterday that Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff should serve no time in prison for lying about the leak of a covert agent's identity, on the grounds that he is a selfless, apolitical public servant with an otherwise "exemplary" record.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's attorneys asserted in a court filing that a federal prosecutor's proposal that their client spend 30 to 37 months in prison is "grossly disproportionate" to the crimes that provoked a jury's guilty verdict in March. ...

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who spent 3 1/2 years investigating the Bush administration's role in the leak and prosecuting Libby, this week recommended one of the longer prison sentences that federal guidelines offer for a first-time offender convicted of perjury.

Fitzgerald said the punishment would match the gravity of the offense and the intensity of his investigation into what he considered a serious violation of national security laws. He argued that Libby deserved an enhanced sentence because he "substantially interfered" with the special counsel's probe, which reached into Cheney's office in an effort to determine who might have orchestrated the leak.

Libby's efforts to shield Dick Cheney (and perhaps others) in the "Plamegate" affair has succeeded. Even if Libby gets the max, his service to the team will be long remembered and probably well rewarded.

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