Scooter Libby was convicted to lying to the prosecution team during the hunt for the Valarie Plame leaker some years ago. He was the only perp they could find, and his "crime" had nothing to do with the alleged purpose of the investigation. G.W. Bush ultimately commuted Libby's sentence, but the conviction still mars his record.
Martha Stewart had that problem. And now we learn that George Papadopoulos had the same problem: Ex-Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to FBI about Russian contacts.
Brings to mind my own experience. Years ago a work acquaintance applied for a government job that required an FBI investigation of the applicant. He used me as a reference, and a neatly trimmed FBI agent payed me a visit. He was cordial, in a businesslike manner. And he explained that lying to him was a crime punishable with a prison sentence.
He proceeded to ask about use of illegal drugs by the job applicant. I answered truthfully. My friend had never talked about drug use to me, and I had never witnessed any drug use by him. During the course of the interview the agent asked the drug question several times. And he repeated the warning about lying several times. What the hell was going on? Was my friend a junkie? A drug dealer? What?
Anyway, I called my friend after the interview and told him about all the drug talk. My friend laughed and then joked about his use of marijuana in the past. Jeez, man! Don't tell me that! No wonder the FBI guy was so focused on that -- others had told them a different story than mine.
I was very much out of the loop on that personal issue. And either the FBI guy figured that out, or I was too small a fry to go after.
In any event, whenever I hear of someone being prosecuted -- or accepting a plea bargain -- for lying to the FBI I'm reminded of how easy it would be to get snared in that trap.
1:37 PM 10/30/2017