Hagel: Libby shoulda gone to jail

U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel was asked on Omaha’s KMTV whether he agreed with President Bush on the commutation of Scooter Libby’s thirty-month sentence. Hagel’s answer:

“Ah…no. I think that was unfortunate.”

(Click on the picture to watch the full KMTV report in a new window.)
When the same question was asked to Nebraska Attorney General (and declared Senate candidate) Jon Bruning, he responded:

“Yeah…probably. I mean I think what he (Bush) did was the right thing. That to me seemed very political, the whole prosecution…”

Now, Hagel’s response can at least be viewed as consistent. Back when the question of President Clinton’s perjury was the basis of an impeachment vote, Hagel said:

“I find that the President abused his sacred power by lying and obstructing justice… President Clinton’s conduct has debased his office and violated the soul of justice–truth. He has thereby debased and violated the American people.”

No word on whether Hagel thought Clinton should have served thirty months for it as well.

But as we descend from the mountain-top, note that this is a political issue as well – arguably a wedge issue between Republicans and Democrats. Problem for Hagel is, the Dems won’t be voting in the May GOP primary.

Of course Hagel is not even in the Senate race yet (though his parading around the state over the 4th was very candidate-like), and we’d be surprised that an issue like this would have legs all the way to next May.

But we still can’t see this statement helping Hagel within the Nebraska Republican party.


  1. DC Insider says:

    Hagel and Richard Armitage are good friends. Armitage is who leaked the CIA agent’s name to the press. The whole affair however is much to do about nothing. So does any of this matter?

  2. Anonymous says:

    If it is much ado about nothing why did he perjur himself and obstruct justice? If it was nothing why would he lie?

    I thought Bruning was a law and order guy. As a prosecutor wouldn’t he want to see the sentence served?

  3. One Out In The Third says:


    Come the May Primary there will be many Donkey’s wearing a trunk. “Dems for a Day.” They have nothing to lose but Hagel.

  4. curbfeeler says:

    Bruning says springing a convicted pal from jail is “the right thing”. He thinks cronyism is better than legal justice?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Once again Bruning opens his partisan mouth. When will all these people who think Hagel has abandoned them realize that he is the best thing to happen to politics in the last 20 years. Hagel does in earnest what he deems to be rihgt, no matter who offends. This is the type of leadership this country needs, not some bitter partisan punk like Bruning.

  6. DocMiddleton says:

    the longer one is in office, the more daring one gets. hagel wasn’t such a maverick when he first ran for senate. just an observation.

    the sad thing is that i like both of these guys.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Erroneous on all accounts. The longer someone is in the Seante them more docile and worthless they become for the most part. Look at Sen. Robert Byrd or Sen. Ted Stevens. Both have been around forever and both are WORTHLESS.

  8. buckturgidson says:

    Leadership? Chuck Hagel? Really?

    The Chuck Hagel who votes for the war and votes to fund it but says he knew it was wrong from the beginning? The Hagel who keeps his party, state, and country on hold while he conducts his Will I/Won’t I tour on the Sunday talk shows? The guy who votes with Bush 96% of the time, and calls for his impeachment over the other 4%?

    Hagel may be the best thing to happen to politics, but he’s certainly a poor example of leadership.

  9. living proof says:

    There was no amnesty, the sentence was commuted (no prison time) not expunged. Whether it was the right thing is something you could argue either way although the jail time seems excessive. Libby’s lost his livelihood although Clinton hasn’t seem to fare too bad after he lost his license to practice law due to his perjury.

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