Have the Cheneys Forgotten the Deep State Hit on Scooter Libby? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Have the Cheneys Forgotten the Deep State Hit on Scooter Libby?
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Liz Cheney oath of office, Jan. 4, 2017 (Office of Representative Liz Cheney/Wikimedia Commons)
“I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search,” the perversely self-righteous Liz Cheney tweeted on Thursday. “These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk.”

Rep. Cheney seems to have forgotten one significant event in her family’s political life: the same weaponized deep state that okayed the raid on Mar-a-Lago convicted her father’s chief-of-staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby on charges that were as manufactured as those leveled against President Trump. If Liz has forgotten, former vice president Dick Cheney surely remembers.

Trump’s pardon should have gladdened Cheney’s heart. It certainly did Scooter Libby’s.

In June 2007, Libby was convicted in a D.C. court of one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of lying under oath, and one count of making false statements. “I believe firmly that Scooter was unjustly accused and prosecuted and deserved a pardon,” Mr. Cheney told CNN’s John King in 2009, adding, I was clearly not happy that we, in effect, left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind.” By “we” Cheney meant President George W. Bush. Cheney did little to conceal his disgust with Bush for failing to pardon Libby.

The charges against Libby stemmed from an investigation into the leak of the name of the low-level, Langley-based, CIA agent Valerie Plame. The White House was alleged to have leaked her name to punish her husband, Joe Wilson, an international hustler and occasional ambassador. Wilson purported to be a whistleblower. He wasn’t. He was a showboater.

No “scandal” in recent history promised so much and delivered so little. The media liked Plame because she looked good. They liked Wilson for the same reason they liked Michael Avenatti, his willingness to give authoritative cover to their preferred narrative, in this case the belief that the White House, Cheney in particular, consciously lied about WMDs in Iraq.

The leak, in fact, had nothing to do with Libby or Dick Cheney. No matter. In 2003, the ubiquitous mischief maker James Comey, then deputy attorney general, pressured his boss John Ashcroft into recusing himself from investigating the leak. (The deep state had apparently field tested the “recusal” con before running it on Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017.) To head up the 2003 investigation, Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald, a U.S. Attorney from Chicago and the godfather of one of Comey’s children. In 2017, Comey would choose Fitzgerald to represent him after being fired by Trump.

Even before the investigation got rolling, however, Fitzgerald and Comey learned that the real leaker was veteran swamp dweller and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. A Colin Powell loyalist, Armitage shared Plame’s background with columnist Robert Novak, reportedly for no deeper reason than the comely Ms. Plame made for good gossip. “The main spin thats come out of Armitages unmasking,” wrote Timothy Noah in the liberal Slate, “has been that Plamegate turns out to have been much ado about nothing. There was no White House campaign to discredit Wilson.”

The investigation into the White House should have stopped as soon as Fitzgerald learned the leaker’s identity, but it didn’t. Fitzgerald instructed Armitage to keep quiet, and he used his commission to make life miserable for the Bush White House. If Fitzgerald’s fishing expedition had a primary target, it was Dick Cheney. Unable to land the marlin, Fitzgerald had to settle for a minnow, Scooter Libby.

Fitzgerald managed to secure Libby’s conviction only after filing a motion, as NBC reported, “that a jury in the CIA/Leak trial should not consider evidence concerning why he did not charge former State Department official Richard Armitage with leaking Valerie Plame’s name to reporters.”

Cheney was rightly furious. The whole affair was a cock-up. As reported in Politico, “Cheney characterized the CIA leak investigation and Libbys indictment and trial as politically motivated. He held that an overzealous prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, and a liberal Washington jury had wrongly criminalized Libbys faulty memory of having spoken to NBCs Tim Russert about the affair.”

The president who did pardon Libby was Donald Trump. Reported the New York Times in April 2018, “When he was asked to pardon former Vice President Dick Cheneys chief of staff, who likewise considered himself the target of an unfair prosecution, Mr. Trump may have seen some parallels.” How could he not? For the previous two years, virtually every power source in the Democratic-media complex had been colluding on an undisguised plot to remove the president from office.

If Trump needed proof of the plot’s scope, the Pulitzer committee provided it just three days later by awarding its National Reporting Pulitzer to the Times and the Washington Post. The publications won, it bears constant repeating, for their “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nations understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elects transition team and his eventual administration.”

Trump’s pardon should have gladdened Cheney’s heart. It certainly did Scooter Libby’s. For over a dozen years, we have suffered under the weight of a terrible injustice,” Libby told the Times. To his great credit, President Trump recognized this wrong and would not let it persist. For this honorable act, we shall forever be grateful.”

Dick Cheney’s gratitude, if any, lasted considerably less than forever. He returned Trump’s favor by cutting an ad for Liz in which he says of Trump, without a hint of self-awareness, “He is a coward. A real man wouldn’t lie to his supporters. He lost his election and he lost big. I know he knows it and deep down I think most Republicans know it.”

Whether his reputation is deserved or not, Cheney is in no position to call anyone else a liar — especially about an election in which the feds did no better job counting ballots than they had counting WMDs.

To learn more about Jack Cashill, see www.cashill.com.

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