The American President George W Bush has been accused of abuse of power, after sparing the former White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby from prison. The one-time Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney was given two and a half years in jail for obstructing an investigation into a CIA leak. Libby was found guilty of lying about the leaking of the identity of former agent Valerie Plame, whose husband had criticised the war in Iraq.
The decision to spare Libby from prison has angered many, but law professor Paul Rothstein said the President has done nothing illegal. “The President has the absolute power to do this, to grant pardons and commutations. No court, not even the Supreme Court, can overturn it. Congress can’t overturn it”.
Democrats were predictably furious. White House hopeful Hillary Clinton said the President is behaving as if he is above the law. “What we saw today was elevating cronyism over the rule of law. And what we saw today was further evidence that this administration has no regard whatsoever for what needs to be held sacred”.
Other senior Democrats called on voters to bombard the White House with complaints about what they called a blatant disregard for the rule of law.