Former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby this morning gave up the appeal of his perjury and obstruction convictions in connection with the CIA leak case, his attorney said.
Libby, whose 30-month prison sentence was commuted by President Bush just before he was to begin serving it, continues to maintain his innocence, attorney Theodore V. Wells Jr. said in a statement. But, Wells said, "the burden on Mr. Libby and his young family of continuing to pursue his complete vindication are too great to ask them to bear."
Why has Scooter decided to drop the appeal? Howard Bashman has a theory:
If Libby were retried, and if the retrial resulted in the exact same conviction as the first trial, presumably President Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence resulting from the first trial would not preclude Libby from being resentenced to prison, and from having to serve that sentence absent a new commutation, following a second trial. Because a new president may be in office by that point, Libby may have reasonably concluded that the odds of getting a better result than he has now, plus the costs and risks that it would entail, made abandoning his appeal and accepting the status quo quite an attractive option.
Scooter Libby isn't interested in proving his innocence, he's interested in staying out of prison, something that is far from certain if he had gotten his wish and been retried.