Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Toussie Jammup: Tribune Finds the Wild Card

The Chicago Tribune has found the Wildcard in the Isaac Robert Toussie pardon fiasco. We noted, long before the story took off, that the flight of Toussie's application through the clemency process was itself a red flag of several sorts. Today, the Tribune reports:
... The pardon also threatened to embarrass Bush because Toussie, in bypassing normal procedures and taking his case directly to the West Wing, had hired a former top lawyer in the White House counsel's office, Bradford Berenson, who had access to Bush's most senior advisers ...

Berenson declined to comment about his role in taking the case directly to the White House, citing attorney-client privacy. But he said late Wednesday that Toussie is "deeply grateful that both the counsel to the president and the president himself found Mr. Toussie's pardon application to have sufficient merit to be granted." And he said Toussie "looks forward to the pardon attorney's expeditious review of the application, and remains confident that the pardon attorney will agree with the president and the White House counsel."
Now the picture becomes more clear. The Toussie application did not go through the normal channels. The U.S. Pardon Attorney, for example, made no recommendation on it. On the other hand, we do know that White House counsel Fred Fielding had reviewed the application believed that it was "meritorious." It seems someone is missing here. Where is the deputy attorney general? See Tribune story here.

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