Saying “I don’t want him to go to jail,” a member of the jury that convicted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby of perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case called Wednesday for President Bush to pardon Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff.
The woman, Ann Redington, said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that she cried when the verdicts against Libby were read Tuesday. She said Libby seemed to be “a really nice guy.”
Redington said “it was very difficult — it was hard” to vote to convict Libby, who was found guilty of four of five felony counts accusing him of lying to a federal grand jury and the FBI. Prosecutors said he hoped to derail a special prosecutor’s investigation of the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA operative.
“He seemed like a ton of fun. ... I didn’t want to see him and his wife and say he was guilty of a crime,” Redington told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. But she she said she had no choice given the evidence.
“I think he got caught in a difficult situation where he got caught in the initial lie, and it just snowballed,” she said.
Extensive evidence was presented at the trial that Cheney took a close personal interest in what prosecutors said was a campaign to discredit Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, after Wilson disputed the Bush administration’s evidence of Iraq’s weapons program.
But Redington refused to speculate on how deeply involved Cheney might have been, because Cheney was not on trial.
She did say, however, that Libby clearly was intensely loyal to Cheney, with the implication that he was working at Cheney’s direction.
“I would like him to get” a pardon from Bush, Redington said. “It kind of bothers me that there was this whole big crime being investigated and he got caught up in the investigation as opposed to in the actual crime that was supposedly committed.”