Last year, President Bush infamously commuted the prison sentence of former Vice President Cheney aide Scooter Libby, who was convicted in the CIA leak scandal. “As to the future, I rule nothing in and nothing out,” Bush said afterwards, referring to a future pardon. Testifying before Congress today, Scott McClellan said Bush should not pardon Libby:
Mr. Chairman, I believe that it would signal a special treatment, the same thing that happened with the commutation. And the President has always held a certain standard for a granting pardons, even going back to when he was governor, and I worked for him then. And that is, that the person must first repay his debt to his society, and second, must express remorse for the crimes which he committed. And we have seen neither of that from Scooter Libby at this point.
Earlier this month, McClellan said Bush should have fired Karl Rove for his involvement in exposing an undercover CIA agent. “He said we were going to set the highest of standards, we didn’t live up to that,” said McClellan.