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President Bush Does Right Thing for Scooter Libby; Liberals Steam

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, I want to go back to yesterday's program, ladies and gentlemen. A very frustrated moment in this program when I learned that the court of appeals had rejected Scooter Libby's appeal to stay out of prison during the appeal of his conviction.

RUSH ARCHIVE: Everything in this case is just senseless. There was never any crime. We knew who made the original leak about what's her-name. It's just unbelievable. Now, the president is up there meeting with the KGB today, Vladimir Putin up there at Kennebunkport. You know, it's time for this pardon. It just really is.

RUSH: And with that the president commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby. It's been fun watching the Drive-Bys last night and today. They're fit to be tied. Chris Matthews even called in from vacation to get his two cents in on this. I heard Lanny Davis today, and when you hear Lanny Davis talk about something, you know that you're listening to the talking points that the libs have devised. What Lanny Davis basically said was this: The Republicans thought that Clinton should be impeached over perjury, but Libby doesn't do a day in prison for it after being convicted by a jury. Now, one of the things that has to gall Lanny Davis and the Democrats, you would think every crime, quote, unquote, every impropriety that is alleged to have occurred since Clinton left office has a relational point to something Clinton did.

In other words, for the Democrats to come out and be critical of the president's decision to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby, they have to bring in the fact that Clinton also committed crimes. By the way, Clinton did far more than Scooter Libby did. Not only did he lie and was found in contempt by a federal judge, he suborned lying. He was asking his associates to lie before the grand jury as well. You talk about obstructing justice and perjury, Clinton should have been indicted. But he wasn't, and we can't go back and relive those days. But I just find it fascinating that all of these Clintonistas, when commenting on a case like this, have to go back and say something their guy did. I mean those of us who supported Ronald Reagan never, ever had to talk about, "Well, Reagan had this brush with the law, Reagan was indicted." Their guy is their standard, and it's not a standard they have to be proud of. So when you start comparing Bill Clinton to Scooter Libby, it's laughable. My answer to Lanny Davis would be this. Actually, Lanny, Clinton did far more than what Scooter Libby is alleged to have done. He not only lied under oath to a federal judge in the Jones case, for which he was held in contempt. But he told, as I just said, countless subordinates to lie, he had his lawyer unwittingly submit a sworn false affidavit to the judge.

Clinton repeatedly lied to the American people. Clinton's lies, in other words, were repeated; they were committed with forethought. These were not matters of memory. The whole thing with Scooter Libby is he said he doesn't remember who he told what, when. He's got so much going on there's no forethought here, but the libs, are out there saying this just proves that Bush and Cheney were in on this. They're polluted. They are so distorted with rage and hatred here. This guy has still got a very severe future, if he doesn't get pardoned. By the way, I've got a lot of e-mails from some of you today who are also very angry at President Bush for splitting the baby, as it were, for not going all the way and pardoning him.

I think the president deserves credit for doing this. Scooter Libby is a harmless guy. He's a loyal servant. He works behind the scenes. He's done a lot of things pro bono to help Washington colleagues. One of them, by way of note, is Richard Armitage, who was in huge trouble, and Libby defended him at no charge. Armitage sat there and let Libby twist in the wind while all this was going on, knowing full well that he, Armitage, was the leaker of the identity of this woman, who was not even covert at the time. This whole thing has been surreal. But this man, Scooter Libby, with his wife and family, I can't imagine that this is a family that's looking forward to too many days before yesterday. Thirty months in prison. I think this is a major thing.

Libby's going to be free now, without fear of having to go to jail and prison and all this sort of stuff to fight this appeal, while free, while not in jail. You try it. You try facing 30 months in the can, federal prison. I don't care it's a club fed or whatever, for something as ridiculous and surreal as this was. This case should not have even been brought. Clinton should have been indicted. He should have stood trial. The issue of a pardon or clemency could be debated if the jury had found him guilty, but it's irrelevant. Clinton didn't pardon himself; he didn't have to. You want to go through all the pardons that Clinton engaged in, 396 of them! He was selling pardons! Marc Rich. How do you think the Clinton Library and Massage Parlor was funded? How about the 16 FALN terrorists? These are the Puerto Rican gangs, and these guys committed real violent felonies. Clinton pardoned them, didn't commute the sentence, just pardoned them, went all the way, and that was, if you recall, there was some relevance to that for Mrs. Clinton's future Senate run, because they were Puerto Rican and in New York you want the Puerto Rican vote. So imagine the insult here, in order to get the Puerto Rican vote for Mrs. Clinton, her husband thought he had to pardon 16 Puerto Rican terrorists. That is classic, classic pandering, and it's also big-time contempt and condescension.

Now, it would have been great if the president issued a pardon. I agree totally, but I'm telling you the big burden that Libby faced, 30 days in a federal penitentiary. You know, if this conviction stands, he's going to be disbarred. He's going to be prohibited from a variety of rights, including voting as felons can't vote in many states -- trying to fix that here in Florida of course. I would have liked a pardon, too, but I'm not going to sit around and criticize the president for this because this was something that was a big deal. He deserves credit for this. The Justice department should have never brought this case, should have never created this situation. For that alone he should have received the commutation. This case was bogus from the get-go. What happened was, we all know it, the justice department buckled under to Chuck Schumer's demand for a special counsel. Schumer was working with Joe Wilson, who wouldn't know the truth if it slapped him on both sides of his face, and that's what set all of this in motion. So congratulations to Scooter Libby and all due credit to the president on this, because he'd been thinking about this for a long time, by the way, and there's a story in the Washington Post about how he basically came to this conclusion and decision on his own.

There's another story in the Post about how the president, and most presidents, particularly at this point in their two terms, live basically isolated lives. While everybody thinks there's a giant cabinet around and all these aides and all these decisions are being bandied back and forth, the fact of the matter is, when the rubber hits the road, it's the president's decision. Whoever really makes it inside, he takes credit for it. In Bush's case, I think this probably was his all along. You know, he got some bad advice during this whole case. People over at DOJ from what I know were telling him not to get involved in this case, don't say about it during the trial and all this, not to appear to politicize it in any sense, when it was already nothing more than a political witch hunt in the first place. The thing that I didn't understand about the White House being so docile and silent is the purpose of this trial and the purpose of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame's existence was to undermine the thing that the president has been most steadfast about and that's the war in Iraq. He's watching and everybody can see it every day. They're trying to undermine the whole premise, Bush lied, there were no weapons of mass destruction, there was no reason to go to Iraq, and the White House was just sitting around not doing anything about it, and they start going after all these people at the grand jury, and they finally indict Scooter Libby even though he wasn't even involved in the leak, called it a process crime. The case should have never have started once the original purpose here of finding out who the leaker was, was known by the independent counsel. So for all of those reasons, actually for that reason alone I think this commutation of the prison sentence is well worth it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: T.J. in Lubbock, Texas. You're next, sir. You're first, too. It's nice to have you with us.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, how are you?

RUSH: Fine, sir. Never better.

CALLER: I was just wondering why you think it took Bush so long to do this. And second of all, do you think because he didn't offer a full pardon, that maybe it kind of takes some guilt that he may be admitting to some sort of guilt?

RUSH: No. No, no, no, no. Bush admitting to some guilt? Is that what you mean?

CALLER: Yeah, like maybe because he didn't offer a full pardon.

RUSH: No, no, no. The reason he didn't offer the full pardon... Bush has used the pardon provision of the Constitution -- and, by the way, another thing about that, folks. Joe Wilson, this idiot, is out demanding a congressional investigation now to see if Bush has obstructed justice with the pardon. The pardon and commutation powers of the president are absolute! There is nothing anybody can do about it. The Congress, if they want to conduct mock hearings, can do it, but they are purely symbolic. They can't do diddly-squat. Nobody can. So they're out there fulminating over all this, and of course they're making statements, and we got a statement from Mrs. Clinton and a lot of these people. You would not believe it. It's as though her husband was never president, or husband was never in the White House, and her husband never pardoned anybody. John Edwards, who never saw an innocent person that wasn't guilty, is out there -- by the way, there's big problems in the Edwards campaign. The Edwards campaign are starting to get a little worried about Elizabeth, and she's showing up and saying things and doing things that are not cleared, apparently. Those of us who have been married three times know how this works. (interruption) Well, that Teresa Heinz problem was not nearly what this is shaping up it be. The Teresa problem was (interruption).

Yeah, you're right, it may. (Laughing.) I don't want to go too far into that because that's the past. To answer your question out there, T.J., the president said from the get-go that he was not going to do anything on this until the appellate process had expired and that's why this is just a commutation. Once Scooter Libby lost his appeal to stay out of jail, to avoid prison while waiting for the appeal of his conviction, then the president said, "Okay, that part is finished and I can commute the sentence." He still faces severe penalties. He's going to disbarred. He's going to be a felon and he can't vote, $250,000 fine. Scooter Libby doesn't have that kind of money -- and so these are felony convictions. Something like this stays with you if Bush doesn't pardon him, at the end of his term. There are conflicting thoughts about that. Some people have read the president's statement, says, "Ah, it doesn't look like there's going to be a pardon," but Tony Snow today said, "Ah, we've not ruled out a full pardon," and that just agitated the steamed liberals even more. They were boiling over there in the White House press room.

RUSH: But as for whether this commutation has any indication that Bush might be admitting guilt in the whole thing, I don't know where people get that. There was no crime here, folks! There was no crime! The White House did not leak this babe's name! Richard Armitage did! There was no "cover-up"! There couldn't have been a cover-up because the prosecutor knew before he even convened the grand jury, what he was looking for. He convened the grand jury, not to find out who leaked her name, because he already knew that. He was doing a process crime. He was trying to trip somebody up and make 'em forget something. You try it. You go before a grand jury for six or eight hour, and try to remember things that you said years ago. One little trip-up and one little disagreement with another witness, bammo! You have a target on your back. In fact, if you listen to some of the statements from Fitzgerald, you can actually get the idea that he really wanted Cheney. That's really who he wanted, but there was no crime. (sigh) That's why this thing remains one of the most surreal and absurd episodes in the American legal system that I can recall. Who's next? It's Lois in Pittsburgh. Hey, Lois! It's nice to have you with us on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hi, Rush.

RUSH: Hey.

CALLER: I have a question maybe you can answer. My question is, how is what the special prosecutor, Fitzgerald, did by withholding crucial information about Richard Armitage from the beginning of the Scooter Libby case, how is that different from Mike Nifong's judicial misconduct by withholding crucial information in the Duke lacrosse case? Because it would have eliminated the need for a trial in each case.

RUSH: Well, it's a good question, but the travesties, the outrages committed by Nifong far outweigh and dwarf the thing that things that happened here with Patrick Fitzgerald. The difference is Fitzgerald had been granted almost full plenary power by the associate attorney general. Ashcroft was out of commission at this point. James Comey basically said to Pat Fitzgerald, "You've got the full authority of the Department of Justice and the attorney general's office to do what you wants to do here," and he took it and ran with it. You know, we're going to learn things over time. It generally takes a number of years, folks, to learn the truth about a whole lot of things, and some of this makes so little sense. Eventually we will find out what drove this, and I'm pretty confident of that, that we will, without having to speculate. Speculation is easy. How in the world do you do a trial like this or do an investigation without questioning Wilson under oath, and just accept everything this guy says when everybody in the world knew that he was making things up and lying about things? The Senate intelligence committee basically discredited him, yet he remains the bulwark of the Patrick Fitzgerald case! That's hard for me to understand. It's below my pay grade, and I don't understand things that are below my pay grade.

Now, as to your comparison of Nifong and Fitzgerald, I understand how you're getting there and how you're looking at it. This is not quite the same. Draw some parallels here. Nifong had exculpatory evidence that he withheld. He was characterizing these kids as criminals and so forth. Well, we know what Nifong did. In the case of Fitzgerald, he knew the leaker, and he knew the leaker had done it inadvertently, and he knew all of this, yet he proceeded with an investigation. He could always say, "I wanted to find out if somebody else was leaking this name around town and so forth." So he creates this investigation, and it's in the context of that investigation that a crime was committed, quote, unquote, the crime of perjury. But I'll tell you where the similarities do converge here, and that is that if you learn two things, if you learn that prosecutors have no check-and-balance -- I don't care at what level, if they're state, district attorneys, or if they are federal US attorneys, wherever you find a prosecutor, people think that. Look at what it took to get Nifong into trouble. Look at how many outrages. There was like no way or any process here to stop any of this stuff from happening. Defense lawyers could go to the media, but that's another problem, too, because -- and this is not so much a political thing, but we all believe in the honesty and forthrightness of law enforcement.

We've grown up believing that they don't lie and that they don't pursue innocent people. If they're out there shopping somebody and pursuing somebody, we must think they've done something, because they got better things to do with their time than pursue the innocent. We learn here that that's sometimes not the case at all. Plus that unchecked power to lead to all kinds of behavior here. You know, power gets to people's heads, plus if you're Fitzgerald -- and I'm just speculating here, but here you've been charged, special counsel, find the answer to all this, and then you find the answer before your investigation starlets, what do you do? "Hey, folks, we don't need to do the investigation. I know who did this, and can't say, but it's over," or you pursue the original leaker, which apparently was not in the cards. So you've got this big charge, you had this big responsibility, and you've got all the money to your disposal, so you go out and you conduct the investigation just because you want to be able to say after two years -- and after two years of this investigation, you'd better show something. The second thing is, what you can learn from something like this is that the next time somebody comes before a prosecutor -- and I don't care whether it's some celebrity; I don't care whether it's a genuine, hardened criminal -- remember this, too:

The media will always side with law enforcement. The media will never question them, because law enforcement are great sources. You'll see in newspaper and television stories, "Sources close to the investigation tell ABC News... Sources close to the investigation..." We know who the sources close to the investigation are -- and they, in addition to their unchecked power, love to use the media to try to nail whoever it is they're going after long before they even get to court. You know, mess with the jury, if you will, before the jury's even been chosen. So it's just outrageous. The Nifong situation and this are both outrageous in their own ways, but for different reasons. This case should have never been brought. It shoulda never happened. The process crime should have never been committed, because there was no need to conduct the investigation. In the Nifong case, he knew that these people were totally innocent of the crime and was still pursuing them on that basis and trying to pollute the jury, the potential jury down there and everything else -- and we all know why. He wanted to win reelection -- and he thought, by the way, he could get away with it down in Durham, North Carolina, because this stuff doesn't happen to prosecutors, the stuff that happened to Nifong. Maybe now it will when it's warranted.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

AP, headline on the Libby story: "Bush Wipes Away Libby's Prison Sentence," just wipes it away! Pfft! I guess "commutes" just wasn't outrageous sounding enough for the Associated Press. They had to prime the anger pump the only way they could -- and as is typical of the Associated Press, they get something wrong in the story: "Because he was not pardoned, Libby remains the highest ranking White House official convicted of a crime since the Iran Contra affair." That's not true. Who is it? I was going to ask Snerdley, but he's still playing with his iPhone in there. Scooter Libby is not "the highest ranking White House official convicted of a crime since Iran Contra," as AP says. Who is? It's a guy by the name of Henry Cisneros in the Clinton administration. "Libby was convicted in March, the highest ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran Contra affair roiled the Reagan administration," but it was Henry Cisneros. He was the secretary, he was a cabinet member, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed to that position by President Clinton, and Cisneros was convicted and so forth. He got a pardon.

Did you hear what Mrs. Clinton said about this, folks? You probably have by now. "Today's decision is yet another example that this administration simply considers itself above the law." These people have to have a portion of their brains that they are able to compartmentalize and tell themselves so that you believe it, that they were never in Washington, never had presidential power; they didn't do anything wrong, ever. "This administration simply considers itself above the law. This case arose from the administration's politicization of national security intelligence and its efforts to punish those who spoke out against its policies. Four years into the Iraq war, Americans are still living with the consequences of this White House's efforts to quell dissent. This commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice." How in hell can she say that with a straight face? How can she say that without realizing she's a national joke when she says this? Cisneros was one of the Clinton pardon bash, absolutely right. Secretary of HUD is much higher ranking out there than Scooter Libby.

Here's what Patrick Fitz-schumer, said, "In this case an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties, and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It's fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing." The prosecutor is taking it to the president a little bit here. Joseph Wilson: "Congress ought to conduct an investigation of whether or not the president himself is a participant in the object construction of justice." If there were any justice, Mr. Wilson, you would face trial. Dick Durbin: "When it comes to the law, there should not be two sets of rules, one for President Bush and Vice President Cheney, the other for the rest of America. Even Paris Hilton had to go to jail. No one in this administration should be above the law." Two words for you, Senator Durbin: Marc Rich. Two more: Bill Clinton. "While for a long time, I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the president's decision. This would allow a good American who's done a lot for his country to resume his life." That's Fred Thompson. Patrick Leahy: "Accountability has been in short supply in the Bush administration. This commutation fits that pattern." Senator, go leak.

"This is exactly the kind of politics we must change, so that we can begin restoring the American people's faith in a government that puts the country's progress ahead of the bitter partisanship of recent years." Barack the Magic Obama. Let's see. Oh! The Breck Girl weighed in. "Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today. President Bush has just sent exactly the wrong signal to the country and the world." Go get a blow-dry. Call your wife and let her come out and speak for you. She can make some sense. "The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own vice president's chief of staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law." That's Dingy Harry, the Senate majority leader. Senator, call your sons before the law does. "The president said that he would hold accountable anybody involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today the president shows that his word not to be believed." That was the House Speaker, Secretary of the House, Speaker of State, Nancy Pelosi, a dimwit -- and of course John Kerry weighed in, but it's it is not important to tell you what he said. He just mentioned that he served in Vietnam. Senator, grab a swift boat and get out of town fast. They're closing in on you.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So George Bush today is "the Grinch that Stole Fitzmas." By the way, Scooter Libby was Marc Rich's defense lawyer during his trial, prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald.

END TRANSCRIPT

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