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Trump issued the pardon Friday, and White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Libby - who was convicted of perjury in 2007 related to the leak of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame's identity - was the "victim of a special counsel gone amok". House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, "This pardon sends a troubling signal to the president's allies that obstructing justice will be rewarded".

Bush said at the time his decision to grant clemency was "fair and balanced".

The Libby case has been criticised by conservatives, who argue he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel - a claim which Mr Trump has made about the current Russian Federation investigation. In 2007, Libby was convicted of four felony counts of perjury relating to an investigation into the unauthorized disclosure to the press of the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency officer, Valerie Plame. He was the deputy attorney general who named a special prosecutor to find the leaker whod blown the cover of the CIAs Valerie Plame.

Griffin added that the fact that the only two pardons Trump has issued - the Libby pardon and the pardon of former Maricopa, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio - haven't gone through the typical vetting process is "notable".

In a statement later, Plame said Trump's comments were not based on the truth, noting that a jury heard the evidence and convicted him, and even Bush refused to pardon him. Hopefully, this full pardon will definitely help a portion of his entire life.

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President George W. Bush commuted Libby's sentence of 30 months, but refused to pardon him. Comey later became head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation but was sacked by Trump in 2017 and has since written a book highly critical of the president. I think he has an audience of three, perhaps more.

I Lewis Libby, who goes by Scooter, was Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Some argued that, as Hamilton put it, “the supposition of the connivance of the Chief Magistrate ought not to be entirely excluded.” In the end, though, they chose to give, even for treason, the pardon power to the president alone.

Still, while the Libby pardon raises eyebrows, other legal experts say it is within Trump's power to pardon whomever he chooses. He said Trump "recognized this wrong and would not let it persist".

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway yesterday declined to confirm Trump's plans for a pardon. Armitage was never punished for releasing classified information.

An FBI investigation started into whether Plame's identity was leaked to reporters as political payback for her husband's public challenge to the administration.