Libby probably faces a prison sentence of 1 1/2 to three years for lying about his role in the disclosure of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame, wife of war critic and former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. But Libby could avoid jail time until after the 2008 presidential election through appeals, according to legal specialists -- timing that would make a pardon easier for Bush politically.The path is so obvious. The path, the course, the case, the course...
March 8, 2007
"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."
So says President Bush, responding to inquiries about whether he will pardon Scooter Libby. I know Bush often stumbles over his words -- and that the press loves to transcribe his remarks in especially stumbly-looking form -- but reading that quote, in that form, I hear the intention to hang back and hope the legal process spares him, but, if it comes to a point where there's nothing between Libby and prison, to pardon him.