President Donald Trump is poised to pardon Scooter J. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, according to sources familiar with the president’s thinking.
The president has already signed off on the pardon, which is something he has been considering for several months, sources told ABC News.
The move would mark another controversial pardon for Trump and could raise questions as an increasing number of the president’s political allies have landed themselves in legal jeopardy. The White House has repeatedly said that no pardons are currently on the table for people caught up in the Russia investigation.
Early in his term, Trump pardoned controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio after he was found guilty in July on criminal contempt charges stemming from his refusal to stop imprisoning suspected undocumented immigrants.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump leaves after speaking about tax cuts during an event with American workers in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 12, 2018.
Trump pardons controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Libby was convicted in 2007 of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice in the investigation into the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame, a former covert CIA operative. Then-President George Bush commuted Libby’s 30-month sentence, sparing him prison time, but didn’t pardon him.
After Libby claimed that he couldn’t have been the source of the leak, multiple people came forward to testify that they learned of Plame’s identity from Libby prior to when Libby said he had first received the information.
Mary Altaffer/AP, FILEIn this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by Joe Arpaio at a campaign event in Marshalltown, Iowa.
At trial, Libby claimed to have simply forgotten he actually learned about the identity from Cheney a month before he said he had.
Since the conviction, Libby has since had his law license restored and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell restored his voting rights in 2013.
Many conservatives have been urging a pardon for Libby, including attorneys Joe diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing.