Washington : US President Donald Trump pardoned a former White House aide convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the leak of a CIA operative’s identity — a move seen by critics as a message to witnesses in the current Russia probe.

“I don’t know Mr. Libby,” Trump said of vice president Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

“But for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly,” Trump added. “Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.” Libby was handed a 30-month prison sentence for perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements to investigators in 2007.

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