Pat Fitzgerald on Scooter Libby: Trump pardon doesn’t change conviction – Law News

on Apr13

13 April 2018 | 8:00 pm

Just because President Donald Trump has pardoned a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney does not change the fact that a jury found him guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice, said former Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was the special prosecutor who sought and achieved the 2007 conviction of Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff. The charges stemmed from an investigation into who leaked the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.

In a statement, Fitzgerald said that while the president holds a constitutional power to pardon, “the decision to do so in this case purports to be premised on the notion that Libby was an innocent man convicted on the basis of inaccurate testimony caused by the prosecution. That is false.” In reality, Libby was convicted by testimony from multiple witnesses, his own grand jury testimony and numerous records.

“Mr. Libby, represented by able counsel, received a fair trial before an exacting trial judge and a jury who found the facts clearly established that Libby committed the crimes he was charged with,” Fitzgerald wrote. “That was true yesterday. It remains true today.”

Fitzgerald left the U.S. Attorney’s job six years ago and went into private practice at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. He issued his statement in his personal capacity.

The stakes in the case were important, Fitzgerald said. He “lied repeatedly and blatantly” during a criminal investigation and never expressed regret for his actions.

“Mr. Libby’s prosecution was based not upon politics but upon his own conduct, as well as upon a principle fundamental to preserving our judicial system’s independence from politics: that any witness, whatever his political affiliation, whatever his views on any policy or national issue, whether he works in the White House or drives a truck to earn a living, must tell the truth when he raises his hand and takes an oath in a judicial proceeding, or gives a statement to federal law enforcement officers.”

“The judicial system has not corruptly mistreated Mr. Libby; Mr. Libby has been found by a jury of his peers to have corrupted the judicial system. That statement rings true to this day. The President has the right to pardon Mr. Libby, and Mr. Libby has been pardoned. But the facts have not changed.”

Earlier:

What the prosecutor who put two Illinois governors in prison is doing today

Pat Fitzgerald plucks cybercrimes lawyer from U.S. Attorney’s office

Ex-prosecutor Fitzgerald to monitor college chain



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