Cheney "Got In The President's Face" On Libby Pardon: "He Just Wouldn't Give It Up"
In next week's cover story, TIME magazine delves deep into the relationship between former President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney -- in particular, their falling-out over the pardon of Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame leak.
Massimo Calabresi and Michael Weisskopf examine the "last hours ...in the mysterious and mostly opaque relationship at the center of a tumultuous period in American history," a press release from the magazine reads.
Cheney stretched the boundaries of his relationship with Bush in his relentless quest to get his ex-Chief of Staff pardoned:
Petitions for pardons are usually sent in writing to the White House counsel's office or a specially designated attorney at the Department of Justice. In Libby's case, Cheney simply carried the message directly to Bush, as he had with so many other issues in the past, pressing the President in one-on-one meetings or in larger settings. A White House veteran was struck by his "extraordinary level of attention" to the case. Cheney's persistence became nearly as big an issue as the pardon itself. "Cheney really got in the President's face," says a longtime Bush-family source. "He just wouldn't give it up."
And there was a darker possibility. As a former Bush senior aide explains, "I'm sure the President and [chief of staff] Josh [Bolten] and Fred had a concern that somewhere, deep in there, there was a cover-up." It had been an article of faith among Cheney's critics that the Vice President wanted a pardon for Libby because Libby had taken the fall for him in the Fitzgerald probe.
Bush and his lawyer ultimately agreed that Libby had lied under oath. Read the whole story.