Bush withdraws 1 of 19 pardons he issued Tuesday
President George W. Bush took the very rare step Wednesday of revoking a pardon he had granted only a day before.
Bush pardoned 19 people on Tuesday, including Issac Robert Toussie of Brooklyn, N.Y., who had been convicted of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and of mail fraud. On Wednesday, the White House issued an extraordinary statement saying the president was reversing his decision in Toussie's case.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the new decision was "based on information that has subsequently come to light," including on the extent nature of Toussie's prior criminal offenses. She also said that neither the White House counsel's office nor the president had been aware of a political contribution by Toussie's father that "might create an appearance of impropriety."
"Given that, this was the prudent thing to do," she said.
The new information came out in news reports, Perino said. The counsel's office generally doesn't include vetting of political contributions in its reviews on such matters, as that would be "highly inappropriate on many levels," she said. The White House decision on Toussie had come without a recommendation from the pardon attorney, as Toussie's request for a pardon came less than five years after completion of his sentence, so that eliminated another step in the review process.
Perino said she is not aware of any other instance of a pardon reversal, in the Bush administration or others.
"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," she said. Bush now believes the case should rest with the pardon attorney. (12.24.2008) http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/dec/24/bush-withdraws-1-of-19-pardons-he-issued-tuesday/