As I puzzled over Bush commuting Libby’s sentence today, I came up with what I think is a pretty straight forward explanation as to why it happened and why a pardon is forthcoming.
Libby recently lost an appeal to stay out of jail while he was appealing his guilty verdict. Only then did Bush decide to act and commute his sentence. Bad move by Bush because it looks weird, but if you think Bush is hoping that Libby’s appeal actually overturns the verdict then it makes perfect sense.
See, if Libby wins his appeal, it means that his conviction was unjust in some way, shape or form and that exonerates Bush. If not, well, Bush may wait until the 11th hour pardon as he’s packing his bags to leave. It’s not like it’s going to matter to the 25% of people who’ll support him no matter what.
Or, Bush might not even be President until then. And at that point, well, it’s not his problem because he has no power to do anything about it.
What does this show us? If my theory is proven correct, this seems a touch cowardly on Bush’s part.
I guess we’ll see.