This is completely unreasonable:
Former vice presidential aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby must begin serving his 2 1/2-year prison sentence while he appeals his perjury conviction, a U.S. judge ruled on Thursday.
Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, will have to report to prison in six to eight weeks unless his lawyers persuade an appeals court to let him remain free.
Conservatives have pressured President George W. Bush to pardon Libby before he serves any time in prison and Thursday’s decision could increase that pressure. But a White House spokesman said the president is not going to intervene for now.
Libby was found guilty in March of obstructing an investigation into who blew the cover of a CIA analyst whose husband criticized the Iraq war.
Libby’s lawyers told U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton that he should remain free because his verdict might be overturned during the appeals process.
They plan to argue on appeal that the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, was improperly appointed and that Walton should not have excluded witnesses and classified material Libby had hoped to use in his defense.
Walton, however, said they were unlikely to prevail on those issues, and added that he could not overlook the overwhelming evidence of Libby’s guilt.
What a joke. Fitzgerald knew that no crime had been committed, but he had to find someone to charge for something because a special prosecutor does not want to have to explain to an oversight committee the months of time and millions of dollars that he spent without having anything to show for it. So Fitzgerald questions “witnesses” over and over until he gets someone to slip up. That’s what happened to Scooter Libby.
P.S. Ruckman, Jr writing at National Review offers an alternative.
Update: Make sure you stop by and read Jay Tea’s post on the Libby case from earlier today.