President Bush says he has not ruled out the possibility of issuing a full pardon for top administration aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby in a CIA perjury case.
Mr. Bush made his comments Tuesday a day after he commuted Libby's prison sentence, which the president said was excessive.
That move angered Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who says Mr. Bush's decision condones criminal conduct. New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said he elevated cronyism over the rule of law.
Libby still must pay a $250,000 fine and will be on probation for two years. White House spokesman Tony Snow today said that Libby's punishment is still harsh enough to profoundly impact his legal career.
Libby was convicted in March of lying to a grand jury investigating who exposed the identity of an undercover operative for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Libby is the only person charged in connection with the leak of the CIA agent's identity. He is the highest-ranking White House official convicted of a felony since the Iran-Contra scandals of the 1980's.
The CIA agent, the now-retired Valerie Plame, is married to former diplomat Joseph Wilson, who openly criticized the Bush administration about its reasons for invading Iraq in 2003.
Wilson told CNN Tuesday that president has subverted the rule of law.
No one has been charged in the actual leak of Plame's identity.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.