President Bush has saved former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from serving a 2 1/2-year prison term. The president Monday evening commuted Libby's sentence after a federal appeals court refused to delay the sentence pending appeal.
The president did not pardon Libby — he commuted his prison sentence. So the $250,000 fine, the conviction and the period of probation remain in place, but Libby will not have to serve jail time.
The president's move came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled earlier Monday that Libby's appeal raised no substantial legal question and, thus, there were no grounds to delay his going to prison. It was a signal that the appeal was going nowhere, and Libby would have been headed to prison within weeks.