Friday, July 13, 2007

Judge Rejects Libby Motion in Sentencing Lawyer Who Leaked Balco Transcripts

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White did not accept the argument made by counsel for Troy Ellerman that his client should receive a more lenient sentence based on the rationale offered by the President when he commuted the sentence of I. Lewis Libby.  As discussed in an earlier post (here), Ellerman pleaded guilty to contempt and filing a false declaration charges related to his leaking to San Francisco Chronicle reporters the grand jury transcripts of Barry Bonds and other athletes as part of the Balco steroids investigation.  The judge insisted on a plea agreement that allowed him to sentence up to the maximum thirty-three month term authorized by the Sentencing Guidelines, not the two-year sentence the prosecution and defense agreed to earlier.  As it is, Judge White only imposed a thirty-month prison sentence, ironically the same sentence Libby received for his obstruction and perjury convictions, but not the fifteen month sentence Ellerman sought based on the "Libby motion."  In rejecting the defense argument, the Judge noted that "[u]nder President Bush's reasoning, any white-collar criminal should receive little or no time."  An article in The Recorder (here) discusses the sentencing. (ph)

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