Lewis “Scooter” Libby has decided to drop his conviction appeal in a perjury case related to the leak of an undercover CIA officer’s identity. Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, was found guilty in March 2007 of lying to federal agents, two counts of perjury and obstructing the investigation into the source of the leak.
The investigation stemmed from the outing of then-undercover CIA analyst Valerie Plame in a 2003 newspaper column written by Robert Novak. Plame has maintained the outing was in retaliation for her husband and former diplomat Joseph Wilson’s statements against the Iraq War.
In July President Bush commuted Libby’s 30-month prison sentence, but he still had to pay a $250,000 fine and faces 400 hours of community service and two years of supervised release.
“We remain firmly convinced of Mr. Libby’s innocence,” said Theodore Wells, counsel to Libby, in a statement. “However, the realities were that after five years of government service by Mr. Libby and several years of defending against this case, the burden on Mr. Libby and his young family of continuing to pursue his complete vindication are too great to ask them to bear.”
Wells cited an appeals process that “would last even beyond the two years of supervised release, cost millions of dollars more than the fine he has already paid and entail many more hundreds of hours preparing for an all-consuming appeal and retrial.”