Thursday, March 20, 2008

Scooter Libby Disbarred

It was perhaps an anticlimatic footnote to a notorious downward spiral, spiked by political scandal and corruption, and culminating last March with convictions on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, was disbarred today by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

The disbarrment precludes Mr. Libby for practising law in D.C. only.

On March 6, 2007, Mr. Libby was found guilty on four of five charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to the FBI during its investigation into a leak to reporters in 2003 of the classified identitlyof CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libby's 30 month jail sentence in July, 2007.

The appellate court's concise disbarrment ruling in In re I. L. Libby stated:

When a member of the Bar is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, disbarment is mandatory. D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a) (2001). When convictions on more than one count are involved, disbarment is mandated if any one of them involves moral turpitude. In re Lipari, 704 A.2d 851, 852 (D.C. 1997) (citation omitted). This court has held that obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1503) and perjury (18 U.S.C. § 1623) are crimes of moral turpitude per se. In re Gormley, 793 A.2d 469, 470 (D.C. 2002) (citations omitted). Since respondent was convicted of each of these offenses, as the Board concluded, disbarment is mandatory under D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a). Neither Bar Counsel nor respondent has taken exception to the Board’s Report and Recommendation.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that I. Lewis Libby, Jr. is disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia, and his name shall be stricken from the roll of attorneys authorized to practice before this court.

from DCCA Opinion No. 07-BG-179

Also see: Cheney's former chief of staff disbarred - CNN

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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