Bush's Stingy Pardon Record

Excerpts from an article subtitled Bush uses clemency powers sparingly to the end:

In a move that has keenly disappointed some of his strongest conservative allies, President Bush has decided not to pardon Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, for his 2007 conviction in the CIA leak case, two White House officials said Monday.

On Bush's last full day as president, Bush did commute the sentence of two former Border Patrol agents—Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos—for shooting a Mexican drug dealer and then lying about it. But White House press spokesman Tony Fratto told NEWSWEEK "you should not expect any more" pardons and commutations from Bush before he leaves office Tuesday.

Bush's decision leaves a long line of rejected pardon applicants, many of whom have retained politically well-connected Washington lawyers, to make their case for presidential mercy in Bush's final days in the White House. Among them were junk-bond king Michael Milken, media mogul Conrad Black, former Illinois GOP governor George Ryan and former Louisiana Democratic governor Edwin Edwards. Bush also apparently turned down a last-minute plea from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to pardon her former GOP colleague Ted Stevens for his recent political corruption conviction.
The rejection of Libby's bid is consistent with Bush's overall stingy record when it comes to using presidential pardon powers. In part as a reaction to Bill Clinton's last-minute pardon spree, including the especially controversial one granted to fugitive financier Marc Rich, Bush has issued far fewer pardons than any president in modern history, according to clemency scholars.
Though many Republicans may disagree, I am glad that President Bush used this power sparingly.


  1. I'm glad too. Our yes needs to be yes and our no needs to be no.

  2. I followed the story of Campean and Ramos closely (I really had not choice it was such a big deal in my local media). I agree they should not have lied but I am glad that they will be reunited with their families. The thing that ticks me off in this case is that the drug dealer got away and the "good guys" went to jail.

  3. I agree. I don't want to see same type of controversy that hovered over the Clinton pardons.

  4. I was happy as well. And despite the blown out of proportion Scooter libby thing, Bush did clean up the act of the white house. Clinton brought us 8 years of scandal. I was glad we didn't deal with that.


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