Scooter Libby, the disgraced former aide to ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, has had his voting rights restored, in spite of his multiple 2007 felony convictions. According to the Associated Press, Libby was one of 1,000 Virginia felons who were pardoned, granted clemency or reprieves or had their sentences reduced or commuted by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA).
An annual report submitted by the governor said that Libby’s civil rights were restored on Nov. 1, 2012, in time for him to vote in the November elections.
Libby was convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements in the grand jury investigation into the strategic outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, ran afoul of President George W. Bush’s administration. Wilson wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times debunking the administration’s claims that Iraq was developing nuclear and biological weapons.
Then-Vice President Cheney purportedly ordered Libby to find a way to strike back at Wilson, an effort that culminated in the revelation that Plame was working for the CIA. Libby was found guilty in the grand jury investigation of the incident, headed by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
Libby was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, but had his sentence commuted by President Bush.
McDonnell spokesperson Tucker Martin insisted there was nothing out of the ordinary about the pardon.
“We look at the merits of each application, not the name,” Martin said. “This application was handled like every other one that comes to the office.”