Scooter Libby Pardon a Conspiricy to Obstruct Justice?
<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr>Would a Scooter Libby Pardon be a Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice?<p>June 6, 2007 (LPAC)--Those pushing for a pardon for Scooter Libby would do well to heed the warning issued last week by Watergate figure John Dean: Talk of pardoning a conspirator can itself constitute obstruction of justice -- particularly if the person for whom the pardon is being sought, has information about the role of higher government officials (such as Dick Cheney) in the conspiracy, and might be tempted, under the threat of prison, to say what he knows.</p><p>In a column published in <em>FindLaw.com</em> on June 1, Dean points out that the 1974 indictment of Watergate conspirators Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Colson charged each of them with conspiracy to obstruct justice by offering to provide clemency for those involved in the Watergate break-in. Moreover, the Nixon tapes show that President Nixon had discussed pardons for the conspirators, Dean adds, and this abuse of power was part of the Bill of Impeachment that had been drawn up against Nixon when he resigned.</p><p>Now, Dean says, if Lewis Libby had been acting on his own, there would be no problem with a pardon for him. But no one believes Libby was just acting on his own, nor does the evidence presented at this trial indicate this.</p><p>This is probably why the Libby defense fund was created at apparent arm's length from the White House, Dean says, and we'll never know if Dick Cheney or Lynne Cheney picked up the phone to get it going. "If high-powered folks like Fred Thompson lobby Bush for a pardon, Cheney need not be involved, and risk further participation in a conspiracy to obstruct justice."</p></div></body>