I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has made the “tactical” decision to drop his appeal. After all, why spend millions of dollars in legal fees when you still have friends in high places? President Bush earlier commuted Libby’s sentence, keeping the former Cheney aide out of prison but leaving him with a criminal record and a fine. The White House won’t comment on whether Bush intends to pardon Libby.

Los Angeles Times:

[Libby’s attorney Theodore] Wells explained that the decision not to continue the appeal was tactical. “The appeal would lead only to a retrial,” he said, “a process that would last even beyond the two years of supervised release, cost millions of dollars more than the fine he has already paid, and entail many more hundreds of hours preparing for an all-consuming appeal and retrial.”

The decision also reflects the political reality that if the appellate court granted a new trial, it would probably occur during the administration of the next president, who might not share Bush’s interest in helping his former official.

The White House declined to comment … on prospects for a pardon. “We never comment on whether or not the president will be granting pardons to anybody,” said Press Secretary Dana Perino.

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