It's over. Scooter Libby is done trying to appeal his felony conviction. He won't go to the slammer thanks to the President. Hey, he might even get a pardon from Bush before he vacates the White House. One question still remains... Will the White House comment on the case now that litigation is over?
Ever since Valerie Plame's name was leaked in the summer of 2003 from deep within the bowel's of the Bush Administration, the White House has repeated the same line: We can't talk about the case because the investigation is ongoing.
See below for a couple examples
In October 2003, Cheney spokeswoman, Cathie Martin, tells Newsweek: "It's irresponsible to make unsubstantiated allegations. The investigation is going on and we should let the DOJ do their work."
The AP reported in July of 2005:
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan refused to discuss the matter at two news briefings Monday. He said he would not comment because the leak is the focus of a federal criminal investigation.
During a CNN interview after Scooter Libby's conviction, President Bush refused to comment on the case because he said:
..."this is an ongoing legal matter. In other words, there's more legal procedures to take place, and at this time, it's inappropriate for me, or the administration, to be issuing comments about this serious matter."
Fast forward to today. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino dodged any chance to illuminate the public on the Libby case. She said she hadn't spoke to the President and she didn't know if he would pardon Libby.... What's another day when it has been more than four years? For now, enjoy the interchange during today's presser. Video and transcript below:
Q Back on Libby for a moment, Dana. The President and you and others at the podium have always cited the idea that the appeals process was still underway for refusal to comment on whether -- why no one was ever reprimanded or dismissed for disclosing Valerie Plame's name. Now that the appeals process is over, at Libby's choice, will the White House be more -- what are the prospects for the White House being more forthcoming on this?
MS. PERINO: As I said, I wasn't able to talk to the President before the briefing. I will see if I can get you anything additional. For now I have to refer you to the statement that he made in July. And there's been extensive public commentary about this, especially from individuals who were involved, and I'll refer you to their statements, as well, until I have something more.
Q But not from the individual who could have fired or reprimanded someone for disclosing the name, as he said that he would do.
MS. PERINO: This matter has been thoroughly investigated, there was a special prosecutor, he did not bring criminal charges.
Q But that's not the issue, Dana. The issue is the President of the United States commenting, which he did forcefully at the time, and has never said anything since, about the propriety in his mind of his advisors conducting themselves in this fashion. So is it not reasonable to expect him -- I mean, other people talking about it --
MS. PERINO: I'm not saying it's unreasonable, I'm --
Q -- is not germane to whether the President weighs in.
MS. PERINO: I'm not saying it's not, I'm not saying it's unreasonable to ask. I'm saying I didn't have a chance to talk to the President, so I have nothing to give you.