CHICAGO - The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and President of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, issued the following statement on President Bush's action to commute the sentence of Lewis Libby:

While no surprise, President Bush’s move to commute the 2 ½ year prison sentence of White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby is an affront to justice and fairness.

Libby, chief aide to Vice President Cheney, was convicted on felony charges of perjury and obstruction of justice – caught concealing and lying about the actions of the White House regarding the “outing” of CIA operative Valerie Plame, and its manipulation of “evidence” to justify invading Iraq.

Libby’s leaking of classified information and his obstruction of justice goes right to the heart of national security; yet he will not serve a single day in jail because President Bush says his sentence was “too excessive.” Bush's action exposes his hypocritical posturing about national security; and it continues a pattern of his administration to turning a blind eye to the rule of law, bending the rules for the rich and influential, and hiding the truth about the lying, spying and illegal activities conducted out of the White House.

It’s a case of the powerful protecting the powerful, while the poor and people of color face the brunt of the criminal justice system. It violates President Bush’s own precedent of law-and-order, tough-on-crime posturing – and how quickly he led defendants down death row as Governor of Texas. Bush said, "I don't believe my role is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own," when justifying why he affirmed death warrants for 152 inmates as governor of Texas.

The poor and people of color receive mandatory multi-year sentences for non-violent drug charges; 80% of the defendants sentenced to death are minorities. The criminal justice playing field remains woefully and inexcusably uneven. It is a cruel irony that Paris Hilton did more time for her parole violations than has Libby for his criminal obstruction of justice.

It is no wonder then that the roar to consider impeachment hearings is growing, as recently expressed by Congresspersons Maxine Waters of California and Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois, who stated, "… When the Executive Branch disregards the will of the people, our lawmakers must not be silent. Today's actions, coupled with the president's unwillingness to comply with Senate and House inquiries, leave Democrats with no other option than to consider impeachment so that we can gather the information needed to achieve justice for all Americans."

The President’s commutation of Libby’s sentence has all the feel of a cover up, and as history demonstrates, the truth in the end will all come out.