While packing boxes in the upstairs residence, according to his associates, Bush noted that he was again under pressure from Cheney to pardon Libby. He characterized Cheney as a friend and a good Vice President but said his pardon request had little internal support. If the presidential staff were polled, the result would be 100 to 1 against a pardon, Bush joked. Then he turned to Sharp. "What's the bottom line here? Did this guy lie or not?"
The lawyer, who had followed the case very closely, replied affirmatively.
Bush indicated that he had already come to that conclusion too.
"O.K., that's it," Bush said.
[The Cheney argument for Libby's pardon focused on much more than whether or not Libby was innocent of the crime in question. As Calabresi and Weisskopf recount, the Cheney argument went like this]:
The Vice President argued the case in that Oval Office session, which was attended by the President and his top aides. He made his points in a calm, lawyerly style, saying Libby was a fall guy for critics of the Iraq war, a loyal team player caught up in a political dispute that never should have turned into a legal matter. They went after Scooter, Cheney would say, because they couldn't get his boss. But Bush pushed past the political dimension. "Did the jury get it right or wrong?" he asked.
This probably had as much to do with Bush wanting to get the fuck outta Dodge, and messing with Cheney as respect for the rule of law, but I gotta give him credit on this one.