"One of the biggest surprises of my presidency was the flood of pardon requests at the end. I could not believe the number of people who pulled me aside to suggest that a friend or former colleague deserved a pardon. At first I was frustrated. Then I was disgusted. I came to see the massive injustice in the system. If you had connections to the president, you could insert your case into the last-minute frenzy. Otherwise, you had to wait for the Justice Department to conduct a review and make a recommendation. In my final weeks in office, I resolved that I would not pardon anyone who went outside the formal channels....I suppose we are to believe either 1) Bush was not aware of the press of applicants - and pardons - at the end of the Clinton administration or 2) he didn't think such a thing would happen to him!
A few days [after telling the Vice President that he would not pardon Scooter Libby], I talked to another person about the pardon process. On the ride up Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, I told Barack Obama about my frustrations with the pardon system. I gave him a suggestion: announce a pardon policy early on, and stick to it."
Thursday, November 11, 2010
This is from President Bush's Decision Points, at pp. 104-105: