Roger Clemency – George Bush and the Pardon

As the end of the George W. Bush presidency approaches, presidential pardon season has begun. While the number of pardons Bush has granted during his two terms has been relatively low, last week he issued fourteen pardons and commuted a pair of sentences to mostly obscure offenders. And earlier in his presidency, Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence.

At the current pace however, he’s only looking at about half the pardons that Clinton gave. And frankly, he would be hard pressed to make as many cynical choices as Clinton did, with 140 pardons on his last day in office.

US Pres. Bush Meets With Treasury Secy. Henry Paulson

Still, we can expect a number of pardons to come through in the next six weeks. Who is Bush going to pardon, and who is he not going to pardon?

Roger Clemens
At risk of criminal prosecution for perjury
Rarely are pardons given without being requested, which means admitting guilt to at least a certain extent. This would likely destroy what is left of Clemens reputation. That said, if he asks, Bush will grant it. It might even happen without the request, as Bush and Clemens are known to be friendly.

Barry Bonds
Currently under indictment for perjury
I expect he’ll request a pardon, but it’s a long shot that he’ll receive one. Many will think it’s racism, but Bonds is just not a likable person, and I don’t see Bush taking a reputation hit for him.

OJ Simpson
Convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping
Not a chance.

Scooter Libby
Convicted of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. His sentence was commuted, but the conviction still stands.
Count on it. If anything is sure in this crazy world, it’s that Libby will get his pardon.

John Walker Lindh
American Taliban captured during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.
I certainly hope not. Let him rot. I can’t see why Bush would even consider this.

Conrad Black
Convicted of criminal fraud
While it could happen, I don’t believe it will.

Jack Abramoff
Pled guilty to three criminal counts of defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials.
Bush claims he’s never met Abramoff. I expect the pardon in any case.

Tom Delay
Indicted on campaign finance violations. Case appears to be dead in the water.
Delay’s spokesman has stated that he will neither seek nor accept a pardon.

Ted Stevens
Found guilty on seven counts of making false statements last October.
Stevens’ age (85) and a desire to give the Republican Party a gift mean Bush issues Stevens a pardon.

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Campeon
Border Patrol Agents convicted for shooting an unarmed illegal alien and drug smuggler.
With even Dianne Feinstein asking Bush to commute their sentences, you can bet he will.

01/19/09 Update – And today, Bush commuted their sentences. They did not receive a pardon, and they’ve served two years of their sentences, which sounds about right.

Alberto Gonzalez
Could face prosecution for his role in the firings of U.S. attorneys scandal.
If he wants a pardon, he’ll get one.

Dick Cheney
Depending upon who you speak to, there are any number of things Cheney could be indicted for.
If Bush tells Cheney “no” on this, it’ll be the first time he’s denied Cheney anything. If Cheney wants it, he’ll get it.

George W. Bush
Crimes against the Constitution?
Not a chance in hell. To pardon himself, he would have to admit to himself that he had done something wrong. I just don’t see that happening.

What do y’all think?

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