The House Judiciary Committee plans hearings next week into President George W. Bush's decision to commute the sentence of convicted former White House aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby. They are likely to focus their inquiry into whether Bush's commuting of a jail sentence that had not yet been served was appropriate after the key judge in the Libby case questioned the President's act.
Federal District Judge Reggie Walton, who sentenced Libby to 30 months in jail for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in the investigation of the outing of Plame, raised concerns about the President's commutation of Libby in a Tuesday filing. He suggested that the commutation cannot be used without Libby first serving time in jail.
"It has been brought to the Court's attention that the United States Probation Office for the District Court of the District of Columbia intends to contact [Scooter Libby] imminently to require him to begin his term of supervised release. Strictly construed, the statute authorizing the imposition of supervised release indicates that such release should occur only after the defendant has already served a term of imprisonment," Walton wrote in the filing, which was posted at the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog on Tuesday.
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