J. Peter Mulhern suggests that, “more than halfway through his second term,” George W. Bush should give serious though to assuming control of his own government.
Scooter Libby is a convicted perjurer because the United States Department of Justice grossly abused its power and because politics short-circuited all the safeguards that are supposed to prevent such abuses. This is one of the most appalling perversions of a civilized judicial system since France sent Alfred Dreyfus to Devil’s Island because the ruling elite didn’t like Jews.
If the appellate and executive review processes fail as badly as the investigative and trial processes did in Libby’s case, Libby will go to a federal penitentiary because Democrats don’t like Republicans. There is enough shame in this outcome to go around.
Patrick Fitzgerald is a disgrace both to the legal profession and to the human race. His partisan allies, such as Senator Chuck Schumer and certain nameless bureaucrats at the CIA, are beneath contempt. The jury was unfit for its task, because it was apparently both prejudiced and intellectually incapable of noticing that the prosecution had no case. The trial judge lacked either the wit to see a gross miscarriage of justice unfolding before his eyes or the courage to stop it. But ultimate responsibility for Fitzgerald’s outrageous misconduct lies with his boss.
George W. Bush could have stopped Fitzgerald’s farce at any time. He could stop it today. He doesn’t even need to use the pardon power, at least not yet. Fitzgerald serves at the President’s pleasure Mr. Bush has every reason to be severely displeased. The President could simply fire him and, for good measure, order the DOJ to start an investigation into Fitzgerald’s misconduct in the Libby matter. President Bush could then instruct Fitzgerald’s replacement to join Libby’s defense in its motion for a new trial. If the court grants that motion the DOJ could then offer Libby its apologies and withdraw the prosecution. If it doesn’t the DOJ could join in Libby’s appeal. If that fails then the pardon power lies in reserve.
Of course, he won’t. He’ll just let the whole comedy proceed, then (at best) pardon Libby on the morning of Hillary’s inauguration.