As Donald Trump’s pardon of Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff ‘Scooter’ Libby makes headlines, we review other contentious pardons and commutations

The former chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney was convicted of perjury and obstruction for lying about his conversations with reporters about the outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. President George W Bush commuted his 30-month prison term but not his $250,000 fine. According to the New York Times, Bush and Cheney spent their final hours in office arguing over whether Libby should receive a pardon; Bush refused to grant one. Donald Trump pardoned him in 2018, saying: “I don’t know Mr Libby but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.”

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