Saturday, December 27, 2008

Too Much To Take

It appears that Bush's planned (and then reversed) pardon of mortgage fraudster Isaac Toussie was more than even Malkinvania could handle.
"What's particularly galling is this man was involved in mortgage crimes and mortgage fraud, which, HELLO! has been the number one story of the year," Malkin said about Bush's year ending "embarrassment."

The conservative pundit wondered why the Bush vetters didn't do a basic Google search beforehand.

"It calls attention to the Bush administration's own role in allowing the subprime crisis to fester," said Malkin. "The fact is under Bush's watch, a lot of this did take place, and the Bush administration's policies themselves, particularly at HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban development, encouraged exactly this kind of behavior."
If even Our Lady Of The Muslim Concentration Camps is convinced Bush is at fault for this disaster of an economy, there's pretty much zero hope for his legacy.

But it gets worse. As Steve Benen points out, the nature of Presidential pardons are absolute, meaning that there's a strong legal argument that Isaac Toussie's pardon cannot be rescinded in any way.
Like it or not, presidents have broad authority when it comes to granting pardons. They also, however, have no authority to when it comes to taking pardons back.

Bush's clemency, announced this week, for Isaac Toussie is rather scandalous in its own right, given Toussie's background as a scam artist who got off easy running an illegal mortgage scheme and his father's contributions to Republicans earlier this year. But it's the president's decision to try and change his mind that's especially interesting.

Now, as a legal matter, it appears Bush can't grant a pardon and then rescind it. The process just doesn't work that way. The White House would have us believe, however, that his publicly announced, unconditional pardon for Isaac Toussie didn't really count. Bush was going to grant him clemency, but it hadn't actually happened yet, so the president interrupted the process before it could become official.

and as Josh Marshall reveals, THAT argument holds no water either.

But from what I can tell, the Pardon Attorney doesn't 'execute' anything. The current system of having the Pardon Attorney create certificates of pardon only goes back to the Eisenhower administration, and was then apparently only done to relieve the president of the chore of signing so many pardons and commutations. I spoke to former Pardon Attorney Margaret Colgate Love (1990-1997) who told me that "receiving the president's warrant and sending notifications to the petitioners is purely 'a ministerial act of notification.'" In layman's terms, at this end of the transaction, the Pardon Attorney's role is really just a matter of paperwork. "When we received the Master Warrant from the president," said Love, "what our job was was to notify them, by telephone, and eventually by written notification. The document evidenced the president's action. We never assumed that that document had any necessary legal significance."

So just as a factual matter, the idea that the Pardon Attorney needs to 'execute' the pardons seems to be bogus. End of story.

In other words, once Bush or any President grants a pardon, it's a done deal. Bush can't take it back. And as Digby pointed out yesterday, the whole point of reversing the Toussie pardon was to make sure Bush didn't have a fishy-looking Marc Rich-style controversial pardon like Clinton did so that the GOP could oppose the appointment of Eric Holder to AG. Holder was of course the Clinton Justice Department official who signed off on the Marc Rich pardon, and the plan was of course to make him pay for it during the nomination hearings and burn him to the ground.

Now the Bushies don't even have that. There's no way they can accuse Obama of glossing over pardon shenanigans to appoint Eric Holder when Bush's pardon of Toussie looms over the entire proceedings.

Insert foot, pull trigger. These Bush idiots can't even get a pardon right...a final, sad commentary on the complete political incompetence of the outgoing administration. Is it any wonder 75% of Americans are glad to tell Bush "Don't let the White House door hit you in the ass on the way out"?

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition

Related Posts with Thumbnails