Scooter Libby Sentenced to 30 Months - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/5/07

Scooter Libby Sentenced to 30 Months

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former top aide to vice president Cheney, got two and a half years in prison for lying about how he learned the secret identity of a former CIA operative.  

Scooter Libby wasn't the first to tell reporters who Valerie Wilson was. But while the FBI was asking staffers who leaked her name, Libby lied. Prosecutors said it was to protect his job and his boss.

In court, Libby asked the judge to consider his public service. But the judge who sentenced him to two and a half years in prison and a 250-thousand dollar fine said people in top jobs have a "special obligation," not to create problems.  

And despite 160 high-profile letters of support, Libby may have to report to prison during his appeal.

"For white collar cases, judges often release them," said Carol Leonnig, of the Washington Post. "And in this case, Judge Walton indicated he's not - he's not keen to do that."

Valerie Plame claims the White House leaked her identity to punish her husband, war critic Joe Wilson.

Libby lied to the FBI and a grand jury saying he found out her identity from reporters, but it was the vice president who told him.  

Sending Libby to jail pending appeal could put pressure on President Bush to pardon him.

"Now, there will be questions inside the White House," said Leonnig. "Scooter Libby was a loyal deputy of ours. He was a loyal aide. Are we gonna let him go to prison, or are we gonna pardon him?"

"President Bush has to look at what Scooter Libby did and what the jury found on its own merits, and the jury found the evidence was pretty convincing on this," said Aitan Goelman, a former federal prosecutor.

The president, traveling in Europe, said through a spokeswoman that he feels terrible for Libby and his family. However, he would not comment on whether he'll issue a pardon.  

In a statement, the vice president went a bit further, saying he hopes Libby wins on appeal.

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