Fred Thompson Voted ‘Guilty’ on Clinton Obstruction Charges, Now Supports Libby’s Half-Pardon

Longtime K Street lobbyist Fred Thompson was serving in the U.S. Senate during the Clinton impeachment in 1999. He voted “not guilty” on the charge that Pres. Clinton committed perjury in testimony about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and “guilty”* on related obstruction of justice charges. Back then, Sen. Thompson wrote:

[Because Pres. Clinton has been found to be not guilty, the] notion that anyone, no matter how powerless, can get equal justice will be seen by some as a farce. And our rule of law–the principle that many other countries still dream about–the principle that sets us apart, will have been severely damaged. If this does not constitute damage to our government and our society, I cannot imagine what does. And for that he should be convicted.

Thompson, now an television actor, has been a vocal supporter of a complete pardon for Scooter Libby, who was found guilty by a jury of perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation into the deliberate unmasking by Bush administration officials of a covert CIA specialist in weapons of mass destruction.

Here’s what Thompson had to say about the half-pardon Libby was awarded by Pres. Bush yesterday:

“While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the president’s decision. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life.” — Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.

Thompson, who was a lobbyist for 18 years and a senator for nine years, will announce that he is running for president this month. (Some reports say he will announce this Friday.)

The final verdict from the Senate on Pres. Clinton’s impeachment was not guilty on all charges.

Libby will almost undoubtedly receive a full pardon at the end of Pres. Bush’s term.

Update: *In the original version of this story, I had Thompson’s votes backwards.


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  • Greg Bacon
    July 3, 2007 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Will someone PLEASE give Bush a blow job so we can impeach him?

    Look for a LIbby pardon in January of 2009, just before President Cheney and his sidekick, the Smirking Idiot Chimp, leave office…. That is, if we’re not already under martial law. If we are, then who needs elections?

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  • Harry
    July 3, 2007 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Say Anything, you have it backwards. He voted “guilty” on the perjury charge and “not guilty” on the obstruction of justice charge.

  • July 3, 2007 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Exactly! Say Anything you totally have it backwards.

    Don’t you know only liberal Democrats are allowed to be lobbyists. C’mon now!

    Don’t you know that only liberal Democrats can commit perjury!

    Don’t you know that only liberal Democrats can pardon terrorists and total crooks!

    C’mon now, where’s your head at Say Anything? Republicans are just like so evil and everything they do is corrupt.

    Hope I made my point. ;)

  • Dano
    July 3, 2007 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Once a scumbag, always a scumbag.

  • Madison
    July 3, 2007 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I think Kucinich, Gravel or even Nader could beat a longtime K Street lobbyist.

  • Brandon
    July 3, 2007 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Love you liberal nut jobs. I especially love the comments about martial law. Hilarious, obvious that you guys don’t know the difference between your hate and reality. If we have martial law it will come from one of the Stalinist Democrats that can’t take the freedom of speech anymore.

    Liberals believe in freedom of speech but only their speech, any speech that is against them must be stopped….

    Fred Thompson will be the Republican nominee and thus will be President. This country won’t trust Defeatocrats in the White House in 2008!

  • GM Ellis
    July 3, 2007 - 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Ponder has it exactly backwards! FDT voted NOT GUILTY on perjury and GUILTY on Obstruction. Here is one link listing every Senator’s vote:

    A link to the PBS Impeachment analysis:

    At least get the facts straight before you call someone else a hypocrit.

  • borderbum
    July 4, 2007 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I would say Fred Thompson made his position known regarding Scooter Libby awhile back while promoting the Scooter Libby defense fund. He put his cards on the table then. It would seem that a pardon from prison for failure to remember a statement that might have occurred more than a year earlier in communication with the news media is justified especially if you compare this event with this one:

    “That deal allowed him to avoid jail time, pay a modest fine, and keep his law license. It also allowed him to avoid full explanation of what he had taken and why he had taken it.”

    Berger and Libby

    Both Democrats and Republicans have their unscrupulous characters and many are serving a deserving sentence for their mis-deeds, some not.

    In this case I think Fred Thompson is correct.

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  • Madison
    July 5, 2007 - 4:23 am | Permalink

    You’ve got to be kidding, Borderbum. Libby was found guilty by a jury of his peers of lying to a federal grand jury and to FBI agents and obstructing an investigation into a criminal conspiracy in the White House to reveal the covert identity of CIA specialist in weapons of mass destruction.

    Now we know that last year, Bush filed a friend of the court brief against an appeal for a shorter sentence by Victor Rita, a 24-year Marine vet who was found guilty of perjury and obstruction, the same charges as Libby. Back then, the Bush DoJ said Rita’s 30 month sentence was “reasonable.” Now Bush says Libby’s sentence was “excessive.”

    The CIA leak case may have been boring or too inside-politics for most people, but everybody understands buying the silence of a witness.

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