According to a story I just saw on CNN.com Bush seems to be saying that the President has the right to review pardons based on new information and, based on that, un-pardon someone to whom a Presidential pardon has previously been granted.
President Bush on Wednesday ordered one of 19 presidential pardons granted earlier in the week to be re-examined.
The pardon was for Isaac R. Toussie, a 36-year-old New York developer who pleaded guilty in 2001 to making false statements in a Long Island mortgage fraud scheme.
Have they just handed us a fabulous weapon on a silver platter?
Are they really going to say that the President has the power to revoke previously-issued pardons? OMG would that be great. Obama could revoke any pardon issued by Bush!
And they look like they are painting themselves into a corner over this. Either (according to them) the President does have the power to revoke pardons based on new information, and Obama and all future Presidents have the right to review all previous pardons ... or they have been caught out, and are themselves giving high visibility (!!!) to a pardon clearly connected to fat Republican campaign donations.
And on one level that is the best part. Apparently the pardon was issued after his father gave lots of money to Republicans. (same link) After this, any political milage a Rethug might get from Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich is utterly defused.
The White House also learned Toussie's father made numerous contributions to leading Republican politicians. In 2008, Toussie's father donated almost $40,000 to Arizona Sen. John McCain, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, and Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor.
So they are either a) seen as complete hypocrites, or b) handing Obama a wonderful new weapon. Which is it, do you think?
Or am I reading this completely wrong? Help me here!
These guys are such hypocrites it's amazing.
UPDATE 12/25/08 2:20 PM EST: This thing is definitely growing legs, it's all over the world now, and mostly the media is saying the same things. Google for Bush pardon Toussie and you'll get results from everywhere. Here are a few good ones:
And my favorite right now since it was written from a very lawyerly perspective:
Nobody really knows what to make of this. However this works out legally, the chaos here will give Bush's money grubbing high visibility for years to come.