Conyers and Nadler to Cheney: Recuse Yourself From Issue of Libby Pardon
Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) have sent a letter to Vice President Dick Cheney, asking him to recuse himself from any involvement in issues related to the I. Scooter Libby criminal prosecution (such as a potential presidential pardon) and from public comment thereon, due to his personal involvement in the underlying case. Won't even get the courtesy of a reply, but I love it - the text of the letter is terrific:
These requests are prompted, in part, by your reported comments in which you stated your hope that “our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man,” and by reports that Administration officials expect you to press for a pardon in internal White House debates.Right on! How badly things have slipped under this administration. Cheney's public comments didn't even seem particularly surprising or noteworthy, as inappropriate as they plainly were, because we have all become so inured to Bush officials putting their personal and partisan interests ahead of the public interest.
The reasons for my request are several. First, at trial, evidence was elicited of your involvement with Mr. Libby in connection with the events that formed the basis of his prosecution. As the federal prosecutor stated in his closing argument, the evidence at trial revealed that there was “a cloud” over certain aspects of your conduct. Accordingly, your comments may be seen as blurring the distinction between the institutional interests of the Office of Vice President and your personal interests in the ultimate results of the prosecution.
Second, your comments would appear particularly inappropriate because post-trial proceedings are ongoing. Mr. Libby has announced that he intends to appeal his conviction, and his motion for bond pending appeal is before United States District Judge Reggie Walton at this time. The Executive Branch must speak through one voice on matters of criminal prosecution. We would hope a sitting Vice President would not suggest that the Government seeks any result other than that sought by the prosecutors representing the Department of Justice, or imply that the decisions of the trial court – both as to the validity of the verdict or the proper sentence – should be undone. ...