White House press secretary Tony Snow said Sunday it will be up to the president to decide whether to intervene if I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is ordered to prison soon in the CIA leak case.
"I'll let him announce it if and when he decides to do so," Snow said when asked about the prospects for President Bush intervening.
The press secretary was responding to a question on "FOX News Sunday" about the case of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.
A jury convicted Libby of lying to a federal grand jury and the FBI about how he learned about the CIA employment of Valerie Plame and what he told reporters about it.
On Thursday, Libby's lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to delay Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence, a request the judge has indicated he's not inclined to grant.
Libby's lawyers say they have a good chance of winning an appeal of Libby's convictions for perjury and obstruction in the case involving Plame, the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.
Bush's intervention might not be necessary in order for Libby to avoid jail. If Walton soon orders Libby to serve his term, a federal appeals court could step in and delay such action while Libby appeals.