Libby May Avoid Probation I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby only has his two-year probation left to deal with in the CIA-leak case. President Bush commuted his 30-month prison term; and Libby already paid his $250,000 fine. But the judge who sentenced Libby suggested that federal law may not permit supervised release without serving prison time.
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Libby May Avoid Probation

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Libby May Avoid Probation

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Libby May Avoid Probation

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

And I'm John Ydstie.

Former White House aide Lewis Scooter Libby has paid the $250,000 fine, which was part of his sentence in the CIA leak case.

NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports.

NINA TOTENBERG: President Bush commuted Libby's two-and-a-half year prison sentence on Monday, calling it excessive. But the president left in place Libby's two other punishments, a quarter million dollar fine and two years of supervised release.

Yesterday the vice president's former chief of staff paid the fine with a cashier's check. That leaves only one part of Libby's punishment remaining, his two-year probation. And now that's in doubt. Judge Reggie Walton, who sentenced Libby, suggested earlier this week that federal law may not permit supervised release without Libby serving any prison time.

It could not be learned yesterday whether the money to pay Libby's fine came from his personal finances or from some of his conservative supporters, or whether it came from his multi-million dollar legal defense fund. The White House, on the defensive this week, struck back yesterday by mocking President and Mrs. Clinton's criticism of the commutation.

Given Mr. Clinton's record on pardons, said a White House spokesman, it's startling that they have the gall to criticize.

Nina Totenberg, NPR News, Washington.

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