Lewis Libby sentenced to jail
Lewis Libby was sentenced this morning to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine.
For the Libby apologists out there, consider this statement from the judge:
"Evidence in this case overwhelmingly indicated Mr. Libby's culpability," U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said moments before he handed out the sentence. The judge said he was sentencing Libby "with a sense of sadness. I have the highest respect for people who take positions in our government and appreciate tremendously efforts they bring to bear to protect this country."
At the same time, Walton said, "I also think it is important we expect and demand a lot from people who put themselves in those positions. Mr. Libby failed to meet the bar. For whatever reason, he got off course."
The prison term was at the bottom end of the range suggested by prosecutors: 30 to 37 months. Defense attorneys sought probation.
Now the pardon watch begins. Bush himself may have nothing to lose from issuing a pardon: he'd probably lose whatever political capital he had left, but he doesn't have much of that anyway. But I suspect Congressional Republicans with 2008 political aspirations would line up to murder him.
If he waits until the end of his term to grant the pardon, Libby will have already served about half of his sentence. So maybe Bush will do that and claim that Libby has paid sufficiently for his crime. But that means letting Libby sit in jail for 15 months.
Libby, politics, midtopia