The following statement was released by President Bush on July 2, 2007:
Text: Grant of Executive Clemency (July 2, 2007)
Words in Italics are those of George W. Bush. Mad Plato’s words are between parantheses.
The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today rejected Lewis Libby’s request to remain free on bail while pursuing his appeals for the serious convictions of perjury and obstruction of justice. As a result, Mr. Libby will be required to turn himself over to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.
(Dick and I would be at risk if Mr. Libby went to prison. Scooter might do some talking that would expose Dick and I.)
I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment or intervene in this case until Mr. Libby’s appeals have been exhausted. But with the denial of bail being upheld and incarceration imminent, I believe it is now important to react to that decision.
(Again...Dick and I don't want our little secrets out of the bag.)
From the very beginning of the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name, I made it clear to the White House staff and anyone serving in my administration that I expected full cooperation with the Justice Department. Dozens of White House staff and administration officials dutifully cooperated.
(Except for Dick and me whose testimony must not be revealed to the public.)
This case has generated significant commentary and debate.
(Just as my presidency has.)
Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation.
(Plus me and Dick.)
Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.
(Paris Hilton was a repeat offender and she was not handed a harsh sentence.)
Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth.
(Except for Dick and me.)
And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.
(But if he had told the truth, Dick and I would have been hung out to dry.)
Both critics and defenders of this investigation have made important points. I have made my own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I am announcing today, I have carefully weighed these arguments and the circumstances surrounding this case.
(But I made up my mind the day that Scooter was found guilty.)
I respect the jury’s verdict.
(About as much as I respect the U.S. Constitution and truth.)
But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.
(Putting an end to what Libby might say about Dick and me.)
My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely.
(Forget about what we did to Joseph Wilson's wife and her life…and to the CIA!)
He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.
(As will the things that were done by Dick and me.)
The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby’s case is an appropriate exercise of this power.
(I hope the same will be true for Dick and me when we are ever brought to justice.).