Libby Sentenced in Obstruction and Perjury Case

Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

Libby was convicted in March of lying and obstructing an investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

The highest-ranking White House official convicted in a government scandal since the Iran-Contra affair, Libby has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

"It is respectfully my hope that the court will consider, along with the jury verdict, my whole life,"
Libby said in brief remarks to the judge.

Walton fined Libby $250,000 and placed him on probation for two years following his release from prison. Walton did not immediately address whether Libby could remain free pending appeal.

With letters of support from several former military commanders and White House and State Department officials, Libby asked for no jail time. His supporters cited a government career in which Libby helped win the Cold War and the first Gulf War.

"He has fallen from public grace," defense attorney Theodore Wells said. "It is a tragic fall, a tragic fall."


Court advisers lean to leniency in Libby's sentencing today:

Former vice presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby should be considered for leniency when he's sentenced today on perjury and other charges, says the office that helps federal judges calculate sentences.

Libby qualifies for a lighter sentence than the 15 to 21 months recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, says the U.S. district court's probation office. The office, which filed its recommendations in court papers, cites Libby's public service, damage already done to his career and the fact he was not charged with or convicted of the "underlying crime" for which he was investigated.

Libby attorney Theodore Wells argued in legal papers that Libby should receive probation, perhaps combined with community service.
Wells said Fitzgerald made "misleading" claims about Libby's role in the Plame investigation, and urged Judge Reggie Walton to reject Fitzgerald's "incomplete or distorted picture" of Libby.

Probation offices and prosecutors rarely differ on a suggested sentence, says Mark Allenbaugh, a former U.S. Sentencing Commission attorney now practicing sentencing law in California. "Usually, they're joined at the hip."

Talk Show America 6/6/2007

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