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Orin Kerr on the Case Against Libby

Via Andrew Sullivan, Orin Kerr makes this point on Scooter Libby's prosecution for perjury:

The Scooter Libby case has triggered some very weird commentary around the blogosphere; perhaps the weirdest claim is that the case against Libby was "purely political."

I find this argument seriously bizarre. As I understand it, Bush political appointee James Comey named Bush political appointee and career prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Plame leak. Bush political appointee and career prosecutor Fitzgerald filed an indictment and went to trial before Bush political appointee Reggie Walton. A jury convicted Libby, and Bush political appointee Walton sentenced him. At sentencing, Bush political appointee Judge Walton described the evidence against Libby as "overwhelming" and concluded that a 30-month sentence was appropriate. And yet the claim, as I understand it, is that the Libby prosecution was the work of political enemies who were just trying to hurt the Bush Administration.

I find this claim bizarre. I'm open to arguments that parts of the case against Libby were unfair. But for the case to have been purely political, doesn't that require the involvement of someone who was not a Bush political appointee? Who are the political opponents who brought the case? Is the idea that Fitzgerald is secretly a Democratic party operative? That Judge Walton is a double agent? Or is the idea that Fitzgerald and Walton were hypnotized by "the Mainstream Media" like Raymond Shaw in the Manchurian Candidate? Seriously, I don't get it.

Here's the Wikipedia article on the impeachment of President Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. It includes, of course, lists of how the senators voted on each charge. It would be interesting to look up the Republican senators who voted to impeach Clinton then and who are now supportive of the commutation (if not pardon) of Libby, and compare their statements then and now.

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Comments

Quit reading The Onion and update your blog. Pretty please :)

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