July 3, 2007
Senator Biden picking up Scooter Libby and Victor Rita parallels
I am pleased to see from this post on Senator Joe Biden's blog that the senior senator from Delaware — where I am right now supposedly on vacation — is talking about the different treatment that the Bush Administration has shown toward Scooter Libby and Victor Rita. Here is the text of Senator Biden's recent official statement:
“Tony Snow said that President Bush decided to commute Scooter Libby’s two and a half year-prison sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice, because it was ‘excessive.’
“Yet last year the Bush Administration filed a “friend-of-the-court brief” with the Supreme Court, in an attempt to uphold a lower court’s ruling that a 33-month prison sentence for Victor Rita, who was convicted of the same exact charges, perjury and obstruction of justice, was ‘reasonable.’
“The questions we should all be asking ourselves today are: Why is the President flip-flopping on these criminal justice decisions? Why is Scooter Libby getting special treatment?”
As is not uncommon, the politician has the law a little wrong. The Bush Administration was filing as a party (the respondants) in the Rita case before the Supreme Court. Also, I think SG's Rita brief was filed in this year. But, legal technicalities aside, Senator Biden is right to wonder why President Bush viewed Scooter Libby's (within-guidelines) prison sentence to be excessive while his Justice Department has argued so forcefully that Victor Rita's (within-guidelines and longer) sentence is reasonable.
As detailed in many posts below, I have been noting the Libby-Rita parallels for quite some time:
- Revving up for Rita: harsh treatment for a lesser Libby
- Comparing Lewis Libby and Victor Rita
- Rudy Giuliani suggests Libby's within-guideline sentence is unreasonable
- Another former federal prosecutor suggests Libby's within-guideline sentence is unreasonable
- Rita has something for everyone (except Victor Rita)
- NPR report noting the Lewis Libby and Victor Rita parallels
July 3, 2007 at 03:25 PM | Permalink
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Hopefully, the House and Senate hearings will call the Solicitor General as a witness to explain how the government's position in Rita can be squared with the pardon for Libby.
Posted by: dc user | Jul 4, 2007 10:54:21 AM
Wasn't the person who Libby supposedly didn't recall saying one thing or another about already de-classified as an agent and her husband already bragging that she was once an agent in Africa?
Posted by: Gabe Halleus | Jul 6, 2007 11:34:55 PM