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Most oppose pardon for Libby in CIA leak case
Mike Sheehan
Published: Tuesday March 13, 2007
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Most Americans don't want President Bush to pardon Vice President Cheney's convicted former chief of staff Lewis Libby, according to a new poll from CNN.

"Nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose a presidential pardon for former White House aide Lewis 'Scooter' Libby after his conviction on perjury and other charges related to a CIA agent's exposure, according to a CNN poll out Monday," the news network reports.

Less than 20 percent support a Libby pardon, the article states.

"A narrow majority," reveals CNN, "said they believe Cheney was part of a cover-up in the case." Sixty percent of those polled also said they didn't consider Cheney "qualified to serve as president should it become necessary; only 32 percent said he would be qualified to lead the country himself."

Meanwhile, 2008 Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani is himself "cool to the idea" of a quick pardon for Libby, "a position that puts him out of step with some conservatives" who insist the President not wait to grant Libby a reprieve, The New York Sun reports.

"The pardon power is a very, very important power that the president has, and it has to be exercised very judiciously and very carefully," Giuliani said yesterday, Russell Berman writes for the Sun.

"You certainly shouldn't speculate about it while a criminal case is still ongoing," said Giuliani, echoing White House spokesperson Tony Snow's similar sentiment.

CNN's full poll results are available at this link. Excerpts from the CNN article, available in full here, follow...

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The new poll was conducted for CNN by Opinion Research Corp. between Friday and Sunday. Pollsters quizzed 1,027 adults for the survey, which had a sampling error of 3 percentage points.

President Bush's job approval rating increased slightly, rising to 37 percent from the 34 percent he received in the earlier poll. Cheney's approval rating in the survey fell from 39 percent in a January poll to 34 percent in the latest survey, while 54 percent said they disapproved of the vice president's job performance.

Though he has a lengthy resume in Republican administrations dating back to Gerald Ford's presidency, 60 percent of those polled said they did not consider him qualified to serve as president should it become necessary; only 32 percent said he would be qualified to lead the country himself.

And asked whether the vice president was "part of a cover-up" to keep special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from learning who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, whose husband had become a critic of the war in Iraq, 52 percent said yes; 29 percent said no. Another 20 percent had no opinion.