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October 28, 2008

"What pardons will Bush issue?"

The title of this post is the title of this local article, which asks what is likely to be a hot questions in lots of circles a little more than a week from today.  The article is focused on the possibility for preemptive pardons for people responsible for carrying out your administration's interrogation policies, but of course the question raises issues that go far beyond questions related to the lawfulness of some of the Bush Administration's activities.

Of course, as of late yesterday, a new name may have appeared on would-be pardon short lists: Senator Ted Stevens.  I have had a fun time speculating about whether President Bush ought to seriously consider a pardon or commutation for Senator Stevens, especially if he were to win re-election.  But, P.S. Ruckman is already on this story through this post, titled "Context: Convicted Senators Who Were Pardoned ... Zero."

Other well-known defendants who have reason to be thinking about this question include Sccoter Libby, the Border Agents, Marion Jones, Duke Cunningham, Jonathan Pollard and many more.  Again,  P.S. Ruckman is all over these matters with this post, titled "Watch List: Crunch Time Ahead."

Some recent related posts:

October 28, 2008 at 03:32 PM | Permalink


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Reading past the title of P.S. Ruckman's post, however, the body of the post notes that Represenatatives have been pardoned by presidents 9 times, the most recent being 2 by Bill Clinton in 2001.

From wikipedia:
Mel Reynolds (former D-IL) -- convicted of sexual assault, obstruction of justice, and solicitation of child pornography; also convicted of unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. Clinton commuted the bank fraud sentence in 2001. Reynolds tried to run for his old seat in 2004, but lost in the primary.

Dan Rostenkowski (former D-IL) -- charged with a bunch of corruption charges; pled guilty to reduced charges of mail fraud; served 15 months of a 17-month sentence before Clinton pardoned him.

I'd be surprised if Stevens gets pardoned, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

Posted by: | Oct 28, 2008 4:16:58 PM

Here's the official list from GWB:
1. Mike Vick
2. Paris Hilton
3. Bob Taft
4. Maurice Clarett
5. Martha Stewart

Preemptively pardoned
1. Roger Clemens
2. Sarah Palin
3. Dick Cheney
4. Barry Bonds

Posted by: pardon me | Oct 28, 2008 5:34:13 PM

You forgot one:

Prof William Ayers

Posted by: eo | Oct 28, 2008 7:31:37 PM

In light of the low esteem that President Bush is held by the public, and his administration’s history of making decisions that fly in the face of the public will; I will not be surprised if Bush issues pardons, reprieves, and/or amnesty to many of the major (and minor) people who served in his administration.

Since the economic meltdown and bailout have become the final image of his very troubled administration, there has been very little talk about his “legacy”. Although these pardons would appear corrupt and would be horribly unpopular with the public, Bush has little to loose in terms of his reputation and legacy. In contrast, the failure to grant pardons or amnesty would leave many in his administration open to lengthy investigations and possible criminal prosecution. While the pardons or reprieves would be unpopular in the short term, they would frustrate the long term investigations that will ultimately be more damaging to his legacy.

Posted by: PAWA | Nov 3, 2008 3:24:28 PM

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