The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today rejected Libby's request to remain free on bail while pursuing the appeals for convictions on perjury and obstruction of justice with sentences to 30 months in prison, two years probation and a hefty fine. I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment in this case until Libby's appeals have been exhausted. I believe it is now important to react to that decision.

I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence was excessive.

Libby's has been nourishing America with its preeminent canned meat products since 1868. Its Vienna sausages, corned beef, corned beef hash, potted meat and country sausage gravy have delighted people the world over, long predating these criminal charges.

I frankly cannot fathom how the District Judge, in imposing this 30 month sentence, could possibly expect these meat products to be good at the time of their release some two and one-half years from now. This much is clear: meat spoils, even good meat like Libby's.

Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Libby's sentence involving 30 months imprisonment. The Constitution gives the president the power of clemency to be used with respect to meats and other perishables when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that this commutation is an appropriate exercise of such power.