Date registered: Nov 2006
Vehicle: 1997 S420 Midnight Blue 113,000
Location: New York
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Clinton 140-Bush 1 (maybe)
WASHINGTON - The White House yesterday ridiculed Bill and Hillary Clinton's "chutzpah" for having the nerve to criticize the prison pass President Bush granted former aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
In a rare political slap at a 2008 hopeful, White House spokesman Tony Snow mocked Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband for trying to have it both ways - ripping Bush's action while claiming the high moral ground despite the avalanche of controversial, 11th-hour pardons granted by the former president.
"I don't know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it," Snow quipped.
As for Rep. John Conyers' (D-Mich.) plans to hold hearings into Libby's commutation, Snow said, "Well, fine, knock himself out, and while he's at it, why doesn't he look at January 20th, 2001?" - Bill Clinton's final day in office.
Another White House spokesman, Scott Stanzel, piled on: "When you think about the previous administration and the 11th-hour, fire-sale pardons . . . it's really startling that they have the gall to criticize what we believe is a very considered, a very deliberate approach to a very unique case."
The Clintons opened themselves up for the bruising counterattack during a recent three-day swoop through Iowa, where Sen. Clinton ripped Bush for putting "cronyism above the rule of law" in commuting Libby's 30-month term.
Libby was convicted of lying to federal investigators during the probe into the leak of former CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity to the media - a crime Libby was never charged with.
Bill Clinton granted 140 pardons in his final days in the Oval Office, including one for fugitive financier and tax cheat Marc Rich, whose wife was a huge Democratic donor.
He also pardoned his half-brother, Roger, on a drug conviction; a drug trafficker who paid one of Hillary Clinton's brothers to help him with the pardon; and four residents of a Hasidic enclave in New York that had backed Hillary Clinton's Senate run with the hope that it would help them get access.
In an Iowa radio interview earlier this week, Bill Clinton drew a distinction between the pardons he granted and Bush's decision by implying he followed a structured process - one that culminated in the frenzied signing session just before he left office.
"I think there are guidelines for what happens when somebody is convicted," he said.
"You've got to understand, this is consistent with their philosophy; they believe that they should be able to do what they want to do, and that the law is a minor obstacle."
The Clinton campaign refused to comment on the White House counterpunch yesterday.