Here is the latest from the front page of the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Trust, the group that has been shaking down Republican donors for the money needed to maintain the convicted felon’s silence until an appropriate moment arrives for him to be pardoned by President Bush:
“Former Senator Fred Thompson, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Libby Legal Defense Trust has graciously offered to host another fund raiser for the Libby Legal Defense Trust. We will be providing additional details in the coming days.”
Thompson’s schedule is getting busier and busier these days, as the man who reversed Ronald Reagan’s career trajectory by going from the Senate into acting prepared to bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
But, hopefully, Thompson will find time to further identify himself with Libby, who the TV attorney identifies as “a man with nothing to hide.”
The Thompson-Libby relationship, particularly Thompson’s recent statements regarding it, tells Americans everything they need to know about the man who seeks to replace George W. Bush in the Oval Office.
Thompson is either a longtime acquaintance of Libby or someone who rushed to the side of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff when he determined that an injustice was being done.
According to a February 23 report by Associated Press, “Trust spokeswoman Barbara Comstock says Thompson knew Libby from serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee and dealing with top White House staff.”
According to Thompson, in a speech delivered May 12 to the Council for National Policy, “I didn’t know Scooter Libby, but I did know something about this intersection of law, politics, special counsels and intelligence. And it was obvious to me that what was happening was not right. So I called him to see what I could do to help, and along the way we became friends. You know the rest of the story: a D.C. jury convicted him.”
Whatever the facts of their relationship, however, there is no debating Thompson’s loyalty to Libby. He is the leading proponent of a presidential pardon for the convicted felon. And he regularly uses his prominence as a TV lawyer to accuse the man who brought Libby to justice, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, of “perverting the rule of law.”
In the faux-conservative circles that define the modern Republican Party, Thompson is more closely associated with the defense of the disgraced White House aide than with any particular stand on the issues facing the nation. That’s one of the reasons why so many of the true believers in the Bush presidency are so very enthusiastic about Thompson’s now likely candidacy to replace Bush
Since Libby was convicted in March on four counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements about how he learned the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame — the wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was targeted for attack by Cheney’s office after he exposed the administration’s manipulation of intelligence when it was lobbying for war with Iraq — Thompson has maintained that special counsel Fitzgerald, the federal judges associated with the case and the federal grand jury that decided it were all part of “the Beltway machinery” that railroaded an innocent man because “he worked for Dick Cheney.”