Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox is one of many letter writers who supported I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s character before he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
In an April 23 letter sent on personal stationery that does not mention his role in the SEC, Cox asked U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to consider his views on Libby while contemplating what type of sentence to give the former chief of staff for vice president Dick Cheney. Walton sentenced Libby on Tuesday for perjury and obstruction of justice for his role in the leaked identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Libby was also fined $250,000.
In his three-page letter, Cox did not discuss why Libby was convicted; he instead concentrated on Libby’s service to the government and personal good deeds. Cox noted that he has known Libby for nine years, both professionally and personally. When Cox was a Republican representative, Libby provided pro bono legal advice to Congress and was later hired by the government full-time, where his work for the “betterment of his country was exceptionally admirable,” Cox wrote. Cox also remarked on Libby’s “selflessness” and called him “an individual of integrity” and “a dedicated father.”
“The generosity of spirit that Scooter has demonstrated over the last decade during which I have known him is truly remarkable,” Cox wrote.
Cox and Libby’s relationship could have been more entwined if Cox had gotten the president’s chief of staff job in 2004. According to Bob Woodward’s best-selling book State of Denial, Cox was one of President Bush’s candidates for the job when Andrew Card resigned. Cox instead became SEC chairman in August 2005.
Other once high-ranking officials who wrote in support of Libby include former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and former deputy attorney general Larry Thompson.