JAMIE COLBY, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: And welcome back to "On the Record." Karl Rove is joining us. Karl, a quick question about presidential pardons. The White House makes an announcement about a pardon for Isaac Toussie and then withdraws. I'm told it's unprecedented. What are your thoughts, and what do we need to know about it?See complete interview here.
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I thought Dana Perino's statement two days ago was pretty revealing. It basically said that the counsel's office had recommended it to the president. The president had provisionally accepted it. And that additional information came to light and the president took the rather extraordinary but I think entirely appropriate step of withdrawing the pardon. Actually, he didn't officially withdraw the pardon. He simply asked the pardon office not to act on his-the president makes a statement and then it has to be signed by the pardon office, and he directed them not to ad their approval to it.
COLBY: And are the grounds for that, a donation made by Isaac's father, and is that grounds for not giving a pardon?
ROVE: I think the ground were other than that. They did find out that his father made political contributions and that this White House has a policy of not checking into political contributions made by an applicant for a pardon. You don't want people making decisions based on whether or not political contributions were made. I think the information that was alluded to was the nature of the offense, the death of the offense, and the fact that it happened less than five years ago. Generally pardons and commutations, except in rare instances, are not granted within five years after the offense.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Karl Rove (an undisputed clemency expert <--- deep sarcasm) appeared on a FOX news program and called President Bush's action on the Isaac Robert Toussie pardon "extraordinary" but "entirely appropriate" (See our commentary here). Casting the defense net somewhat more wide than the President, Rove said the pardon application was accepted "provisionally" but not actually "withdrawn." The "pardon office" was simply asked "not to act." Note Rove says the President took action on grounds other than the fact that Toussie's father had made political contributions to the Republican Party. Here is a portion of the interview: