Mr. Libby may escape prison time, but if he accepted a pardon, he (and Mr. Bush) would have a hard time continuing to insist that he was an innocent victim of a vengeful prosecutor. It would also undermine the claim that the Plame investigation was a partisan ploy to discredit the White House, and leave another stain on Mr. Bush’s legacy.
Here’s why: If Mr. Libby were to accept a traditional presidential pardon — a “full and unconditional” grant of clemency — he would be admitting that he was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted: obstructing justice, perjury and lying to the F.B.I.
If this became the accepted story across the board that would be one thing.
But how many Republicans agree that Cap Weinberger and Elliott Abrams who accepted pardon from Bush the First agree that they were guilty of what they were charged with ?
Not many. In fact, Abrams got to come back and help fuck up ALL OVER AGAIN!
What's more Libby was CONVICTED of multiple felonies. Nixon, Weinberger & Abrams were at best only charged or about to be charged.
There is NO LEGITIMATE REASON for a pardon, none.