McCain on a pardon for Libby

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos to air Sunday on ABC's THIS WEEK, Senator John McCain chimed in on the discussion about Scooter Libby's conviction and 30-month sentence.  He disagreed with both Governor Romney and Mayor Giuliani, who characterized Libby's conviction as a "miscarriage of justice."  But McCain hesitated to make a definitive statement for or against a pardon while Libby's appeal process continues.

"I think that you can make a case that he was singled out unfairly.  I think that the appeals process goes forward," McCain said.  "I happen to be one who admires Scooter Libby.  I think he was a dedicated servant."

If President Bush were to pardon Libby, the Senator stated he would assess the facts of the case and the President's reasons for the pardon before coming to any conclusions about the decision. 

"I would say I'd like to know the reasons why he did so.  I would like to have him lay out, which I'm sure he would if he pardoned him, the reasons for the pardon and then I would evaluate that."

McCain added, "If it looked like that he was going to prison, I would certainly examine the case, but I cannot say that I would do -- I would know what the president of the United States would do."

The presidential hopeful also told Stephanopoulos that pardoning Libby may taint the public's perception of Republicans as soft on the rule of law.  However, McCain placed his faith in the both the courts and the President to ultimately make that decision. You can see John McCain's "On the Trail" interview tomorrow on THIS WEEK with George Stephanopoulos.

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