Posted by Curt on 5 June, 2007 at 8:22 am. 1 comment.


Now the Libby case has done gone crazy:

“Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s hopes of avoiding prison in the CIA leak case began to dim Tuesday as a federal judge ruled he could face a longer sentence because the investigation he obstructed was so serious.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is the highest-ranking official convicted of a crime since the Iran Contra affair.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wants to put Libby in prison for up to three years because the investigation he was convicted of obstructing—the leak of a CIA operative’s identity—was so serious. Libby’s attorneys are seeking no jail time and argue that it’s unfair to increase the sentence simply because the investigation was serious.

“No one was ever charged. Nobody ever pleaded guilty,” attorney William Jeffress said. “The government did not establish the existence of an offense.”

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton didn’t accept that. By that reasoning, Walton said, witnesses benefit if they aggressively obstruct investigations so prosecutors can’t make their case.

“I just can’t buy in on that being good social policy,” said Walton, who has a reputation as a tough sentencing judge. “It’s one thing if you obstruct a petty larceny. It’s another thing if you obstruct a murder investigation.”

So now the Judge is ruling on whether the prosecutor had enough to try someone on a case never brought before him?  And comparing this to a murder investigation?

We can see where this is going folks.  Expect the book to be thrown at Libby today even though the probation office has suggested leniency:

Former vice presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby should be considered for leniency when he’s sentenced today on perjury and other charges, says the office that helps federal judges calculate sentences.

Libby qualifies for a lighter sentence than the 15 to 21 months recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, says the U.S. district court’s probation office. The office, which filed its recommendations in court papers, cites Libby’s public service, damage already done to his career and the fact he was not charged with or convicted of the "underlying crime" for which he was investigated.

Expect it, but also expect the appeal to be quite strong.

UPDATE 0852 hrs PST

And just as I expected the Judge threw the book at him.  30 months in prison and a $200,000 fine (check comments at 1152hrs EST).  Appeal time baby.


The Judge said this at one point according to the comment thread referenced above:

...My take on evidence presented, no evidence that Mr Libby knew that Ms Wilson status was, but being NSA for VP seems to me that anybody in that high level position had a unique obligation that before they said anything said anything associated with national security agency…

How is this an issue when it was not an issue at trial?


Possible good news, he may be released pending appeal:

Apparently he will be released pending appeal:
"Within 72 hours report to probation department and abide by supervised release.

In ref to obstruction, 30 months, To other counts, to 15 months, concurrent. Supervised release for 2 years following release from detention.

He must provide sample of DNA, he will be required to contribute 400 hour of community service.

Short break, will proceed with bond issue"

But not certain since proceedings are going on.

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