Really. We had promised ourselves no Bush-bashing for the couple of days around Christmas. But then appears this late Christmas Eve news dump --
Yesterday the President forwarded to the Pardon Attorney a Master Warrant of Clemency including 19 requests for pardons with direction that he execute and deliver grants of clemency to the named individuals.
With respect to the case of Mr. Isaac R. Toussie, the Counsel to the President reviewed the application and believed, based on the information known to him at the time, that it was a meritorious application. He so advised the President, who accepted the recommendation.
Based on information that has subsequently come to light, the President has directed the Pardon Attorney not to execute and deliver a Grant of Clemency to Mr. Toussie. The Pardon Attorney has not provided a recommendation on Mr. Toussie's case because it was filed less than five years from completion of his sentence. The President believes that the Pardon Attorney should have an opportunity to review this case before a decision on clemency is made.
This apparent procedural error popped up just in time to pull what could have been a very awkward pardon. Because it was for offences related to mortgage fraud and deception in property sales, two red flag issues in the global financial crisis (and with low income mortgages being a key part of the conservative diagnosis thereof). And no one in the White House noticed! It looks like the New York Times was getting ready to do an unfavourable story and someone started asking questions.
Note also the appearance of a rule that pardon requests shouldn't be entertained till 5 years after completion of a sentence. Where does that leave Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, and the rest of the Bush gang? Doesn't Dick Cheney think that nay such procedures limit the President's power under Article 2, Section 2?