Bush 'very pleased' by pardon for Scooter Libby

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The person said the announcement could come as early as Friday.

After all, if he will pardon someone he has no connection to, like Libby, who 15 years ago committed a serious crime against our country by revealing the identity of an undercover Central Intelligence Agency officer, then he will certainly pardon people with whom he is closely aligned, even if it turns out that they committed serious crimes against the United States of America. But critics noted the timing, coming as Trump fumes over Robert Mueller's probe, which he has dubbed a "witch hunt".

The White House said Libby had served "more than a decade of honorable service" before his conviction, that his record is "unblemished" since, and that he "continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers".

Since then, the Libby case has been criticised by conservatives, who argue that he was the victim of an overly zealous and politically motivated prosecution by a special counsel.

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Another twist is that the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, was appointed by James Comey, deputy attorney general at the time. Comey later became head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation but was sacked by Trump in 2017 and has since written a book highly critical of the president.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in a statement Friday that Trump has issued the pardon. Asked if a pardon was about Comey, Conway said no.

"He said, 'He got screwed, '" Toensing recalled.

"Mr. Libby's case has always been a cause for conservatives who maintained that he was a victim of a special prosecutor run amok, an argument that may have resonated with the president".

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Critics questioned the timing of the pardon. He hasn't gone through the pardon office.

Lewis Libby, Jr., also known as Scooter Libby. "So one certainly suspects there's a message". "This is a sad moment for our democracy and justice system".

Ms Plame said a pardon would send a message "that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned". Last calendar year, Joe Arpaio, an previous Arizona sheriff who'd defected for Trump, less than a month later he had been convicted of contempt was pardoned by him.

Finally, neither Mr. Trump nor his thoroughly outmatched legal team knows the full exposure he or potential witnesses face.

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