President Donald Trump may be using his pardoning power to stir controversy. According to ABC News, Trump has already signed off on a pardon for then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, Scooter Libby.
“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,” ABC News reported.
According to New York Magazine and HuffPost’s Yashar Ali, a source close to Trump claimed that the president is “taking a stab at Bush who famously refused to give Libby a full pardon which pissed Cheney off.”
The pardon is further problematic given Trump’s proclivity to pardon political allies given the slew of arrests that have occurred thus far in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe. The White House, for its part, has claimed that no pardons are on the table “at this time” for people caught up in the Russia investigation. However, the claim directly contradicts a report in the The New York Times alleging that John Dowd, Trump’s former lawyer, discussed with him last year the possibility of pardoning two former associates who have been caught up in Mueller’s probe