For all the unlicensed talk about a presidential pardon for Lewis “Scooter” Libby, President Bush is the one licensed player who hasn’t had much to say about the subject.
Until now. And this is one ambiguous answer.
While Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney convicted of lying in a federal probe of a CIA leak, appeals his guilty verdict on four counts, Bush says: “I’m pretty much going to stay out of it until the course — the case has finally run its final — the course it’s going to take.”
On the eve of his trip to Latin America, Bush gave an interview to Univision, the Spanish-language American television network. Bush, who leaves this morning for Brazil, had this to say to the questions of Enrique Gratas of Univision, who interviewed the president in the basement Map Room of the White House yesterday:
QUESTION: Yesterday, somebody very familiar to the administration, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was found guilty of the charges of perjury, lying, obstruction of justice. What is the impact of your administration of this verdict, or your personal feelings?
THE PRESIDENT: First, this was a very serious matter. A jury of his peers analyzed the data very seriously and rendered a verdict that must be respected. Secondly, I personally am sad. I’m sad for Mr. Libby and his family. There was a sense of sadness to hear the verdict read for me. And finally, this is an ongoing legal matter, there is more to be done in the courts, and therefore, at this time it’s inappropriate for the administration to be commenting beyond just what you asked me.