Tuesday, July 03, 2007
What good is a judge?
Yesterday, despite overwhelming public opposition, President Bush commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby, the former White House Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney who was convicted by a jury of lying about a matter of national security. As yet another example of the elitist attitude that defines Republicans in Washington, he shamelessly put partisan loyalties before the fundamental American value of fair and equal justice under the law.
Bush doesn't care that Libby was convicted by a jury of his peers and sentenced by an experienced federal judge, and he doesn't care that Libby's sentence was well within the sentencing guidelines set by Congress. He once again ignored over 70% of the American public and disregarded the legal process -- this time to help someone who has friends in the right places.
We can't stand for this, and that's why we're doing something to change it. We may not be able to change the President's decision, but we are fighting back -- we're working day and night to take back the White House in 2008 so that we can put an end to just this type of nonsense. Contribute now to help us change things in Washington:
The Republican presidential candidates long ago lined up in support of Scooter Libby and institutional Washington, and restoring the Constitution and the rule of law isn't anywhere near their list of priorities.
Rudy Giuliani, who brags of being tough on crime, prosecuted perjury cases as a lawyer and wanted mandatory sentences on people who commit perjury. But yesterday he went out of his way to support Scooter Libby, saying "I believe the decision was correct." In an interview with the Wall Street Journal editorial board he offered what they said "sounds an awful lot like an argument for a pardon," and said "I think the option the president really has is commutation."
Mitt Romney never granted a pardon, even for the most trivial offense. But when asked if he would consider pardoning Scooter Libby, Mitt Romney said "It's worth looking at that. I will study it very closely if I'm lucky enough to be president. And I'd keep that option open." Yesterday he blamed the prosecutor and completely ignored the jury, saying that "the prosecutor knew that there had not been a crime committed."
Lobbyist Fred Thompson, the ultimate Washington insider, has helped to raise millions of dollars as a chair of Scooter Libby's legal defense fund. He said he reached out to Libby and offered to help -- "I called him up and offered to help him." He also said that he would issue a pardon and claimed that Libby's conviction was "a gross injustice ... and it ought to be rectified."
No more. Democrats will bring dignity back to the White House in 2008, but it's up to us to make sure that happens. Contribute today:
Thank you for fighting back,
Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
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