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House Judiciary Committee head presses White House on Libby clemency

[JURIST] House Judiciary Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) [official website] urged the White House Monday to waive executive privilege concerning its decision to commute the prison sentence for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive], saying that the House Judiciary Committee [official website] will hold a hearing Wednesday to determine why President Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence [JURIST report]. Conyers also expressed concerns that Libby will be less inclined to provide additional information for the probe into the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity [JURIST news archive]. Bush had characterized the jury sentence as "excessive," saying that Libby's damaged reputation and the consequences of a felony conviction constituted enough punishment.

Last Monday, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald publicly questioned [E&P report; JURIST report] Bush's statement that the 30-month sentence was excessive, saying that the sentence was "imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencing which occur every day throughout this country." AP has more.

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