Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has shown no remorse for corrupting the legal system and deserves to spend 2 1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Friday.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and an assistant to President Bush, is the highest-ranking White House official convicted since the Iran-Contra affair two decades ago.
In court documents, Fitzgerald rejected criticism from Libby’s supporters who said the leak investigation had spun out of control. Fitzgerald denied that the prosecution was politically motivated and said Libby brought his fate upon himself.
“The judicial system has not corruptly mistreated Mr. Libby,” Fitzgerald wrote. “Mr. Libby has been found by a jury of his peers to have corrupted the judicial system.”
Libby was convicted in March of lying to investigators about what he told reporters regarding CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose 2003 exposure touched off the leak probe. Plame was identified in a newspaper column after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, began criticizing the Bush administration’s prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Libby “lied repeatedly and blatantly about matters at the heart of a criminal investigation concerning the disclosure of a covert intelligence officer’s identity,” Fitzgerald wrote. “He has shown no regret for his actions, which significantly impeded the investigation.”