Guess Scooter’s Pardon Date
March 8, 2007
With the conviction of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby on four of five counts in the Valarie Plame case, attention has naturally turned to the potential pardon of the man by President Bush. Newsweek recently ran a piece saying that Bush may indeed pardon Scooter, but he’ll be flaunting Justice Department rules and regulations to do it:
Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff does not qualify to even be considered for a presidential pardon under Justice Department guidelines.
From the day he took office, Bush seems to have followed those guidelines religiously. He’s taken an exceedingly stingy approach to pardons, granting only 113 in six years, mostly for relatively minor fraud, embezzlement and drug cases dating back more than two decades.
While 113 may seem like a great deal, in the grand scheme of history, its just a drop in the Presidential Pardon Bucket. Bill Clinton, for example, issued 456 pardons during his eight years in office. Ronald Reagan issued almost as many – 406. G.W. Bush’s dad however was mighty stingy with his pardons, he issued a measly 77.
So while Bush seems to be on track to not pardoning Libby, I think their assertion that Bush won’t do it due to Justice Department guidelines is baseless. This president has taken to bending and sometimes even breaking the law when it suited him. The pardon of Scooter Libby is not an act that he’ll have to pay for politically. He is not seeking re-election and his poll numbers are already in the basement. Additionally, no matter what Time Magazine may say, Vice President Cheney still has Bush’s ear and probably his balls in his back pocket, and so I am going to make the prediction that Bush will indeed pardon Libby. Cheney wants the Plame affair to end as soon as possible for obvious reasons, so I think its just a question of when. I’m going to go on record and say that Bush will issue the pardon no later than the end of May. If I had to put money on an actual date, I’d pick Friday, April 27th. The Bush administration loves to make Fridays punching bags for bad news to delay the 24 hours news cycle a bit.
What about you, do you think Scooter will get a pass? If you do, go ahead and pick a date in the comments thread. If and when it happens, we’ll see just who wins. Price Is Right rules apply, so the closest person to pick the actual date without going over wins. And what exactly is the prize? How about plain ol’ bragging rights? Come on down!