Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Cunningham. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Cunningham. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, December 5, 2008

We Do Not Concurr

PardonPower is generally quite fond of the work going on at the Concurring Opinions blog, but cannot help but comment on a recent post (here) by Lawrence Cunningham. With regard to the clemency efforts of Bernie Ebbers, Michael Milkin, and Conrad Black, Cunningham actually writes:
the smart money is on pardons, for all three of these fellows--and perhaps thousands more
To which we ask: What planet is Cunningham on? What on earth leads the "smart money" in this direction? Is it Bush's record setting stinginess with pardons and commutations? Is it the record backlog in the Office of the Pardon Attorney? Is it the fact that 8 years have produced one high-profile act of clemency? Was it the similar record on clemency that Bush had in Texas? Thousands? Thousands?! Is there anyone anywhere with an ounce of expertise on this topic that is actually betting on that? Did Cunningham mean to write "the foolish money?"

At loss to explain this bizarre analysis, we can only latch on to Cunningham's equally odd suggestion that "Bush’s record on just use of law is weak." Alas, hatred of Bush can really fowl up one's analytical skills!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Watch List: Support for Cunningham

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Randy “Duke” Cunningham "wants out of prison early" and that "a few people across the United States have written the federal government to say he deserves that chance." Cunningham is serving out and 8-year and 4-month sentence for conspiracy and tax evasion and the U.S. Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney is said to have released copies of eight supporting letters (with names redacted). It is said that there is also a petition with "nearly 3,000 signatures."

The Union-Tribune also quotes one Charles Shanor, a law professor at Emory University who specializes in employment discrimination and labor law, but who has also "studied presidential pardons." According to the article, Shanor says, historically, less than 5 percent of clemency requests are granted. PardonPower happily gives the benefit of the doubt to Professor Shanor, and assumes the Union-Tribune messed up a quote. Because, "historically," that would not be correct. But Shanor is also reported to have said, "I wouldn't bet on this one. This one is so high-profile, and the criticism would be huge.” Hmmm ... and what to think of Scooter Libby? See story here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Obama: The Pardon "Watch List" Returns!

It's December! And one out of every two presidential pardons granted over the last four decades have been granted in this month alone. President Obama - the slowest Democratic president in history to exercise the pardon power - has now gone a whopping 680 days without granting a single pardon or commutation of sentence.

Do we think the president will exercise clemency this month? Yes, we do. The only question in our minds is whether or not Mr. Obama will wait more than 19 days, and pass George W. Bush as the slowest president of all time!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Watch List: Very Slight Modification

Over the weekend, the New York Times made a moderate splash with a list of 13 names of individuals who have and have not applied for pardons or commutations of sentence with President Bush (see story here). PardonPower finds it worthy of note that 10 of the 13 names have been on our Pardon Watch List (below) for many months. But, given what we now know, we are inclined to add the name of Randy Cunningham to our list. The Times also discussed Jack Abranoff and Bob Ney (who have not filed applications), but we are not so inclined to add them.

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice)
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Randy Cunningham Application in.
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Application in.
- John Forte (cocaine)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in.
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Application in.
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering)
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Application in.
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Campaign 08: Vetting Mrs. Clinton Softly

I recently observed that "vetting" in the dictionary of Hillary Clinton appears to mean to provide "clumsy rebuttals to scrutiny without significant consequence." You could hardly find a better example of my reasoning than in a CNN transcript that can be found here. On casual review, what stands out is 1) this very active - and therefore "experienced" - member of the White House for eight years knew nothing about her husband, the deputy White House counsel, her husband's brother, her own brother, her campaign treasurer or her own legal advisor. These individuals were into pardon scandals up to their ears. But she knew nothing about any of it. What also stands out is that 2) she refuses to condemn the controversial last-minute pardons of Marc Rich in the face of a direct question and a comment by former President Jimmy Carter.

Instead, Mrs. Clinton seems to advise us that it is not kind to be judgemental or to second-guess the decision making of her husband, and that we all just have to decide for ourselves and, of course, suck it up. Now that Mrs. Clinton has had eight long years to think about it all, it is obviously appropriate for someone to ask her about it once again. As president, will she pardon her own relatives, top donors, most-wanted fugitives and terrorists and tell us all that she is shocked and dismayed that we are judgmental? and ask us to just draw whatever conclusions we can conclude, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion? Here are some excerpts of the "vetting" process for Mrs. Clinton (be prepare not to be impressed):

QUESTION: ... your brother and the pardon and clemency petition, first? And secondly, do you think your husband handled these pardons appropriately?
CLINTON: Well, I was very disappointed and saddened by this whole matter. You know, it came as a surprise to me, and it was very disturbing. And I'm just very disappointed about it. With respect to any questions about the pardons or the president's handling of the pardons, you'll have to ask him or his staff about that ...

QUESTION: What about Roger Clinton in specific: Did he ask for a pardon?
CLINTON: I don't know the answer to that.

QUESTION: Did he ask the president for a pardon?
CLINTON: I don't know the answer to that.

QUESTION: Why would anyone, Mrs. Clinton, contact your brother if they were not trying to get access to you or the president?
CLINTON: Well, you'll have to ask him. If I had known about this, we wouldn't be standing here today. I didn't know about it, and I'm very regretful that it occurred, that I didn't know about it. I might have been able to prevent this from happening. And I'm just very disappointed about the whole matter ...

QUESTION: What exactly did you not know about? Did you not know that he was representing them? Did you not know about the money? And finally, what about your campaign treasurer, William Cunningham? Should he also return the fee that he got regarding the two other pardons?
CLINTON: Well, let's separate these out. I did not know my brother was involved in any way in any of this. I learned that there were some press inquiries, of a vague nature, last week sometime. I did not know any specific information until late Monday night ... Now, with respect to Mr. Cunningham, I knew nothing about that. But I know that he is, you know, a fine lawyer and a fine man. And I had no knowledge that he was involved ...

QUESTION: What about Mr. Ickes? It sounded like...
CLINTON: I did not know anything about that either ...

QUESTION: Senator, did you ever have a discussion with your brother, notwithstanding his professional involvement, about pardons or commutations? And the same question as regarding Bruce Lindsey?
CLINTON: No, I did not. You know, I don't have any memory at all of ever talking to my brother about this. You know, that's my best memory. But I have to say, and I will repeat once again, information was coming to me, information was passed on. So, you know, if I said information came, people wanted to look at, I might have said that. I just don't remember anything further than that ...

QUESTION: So your brother may have spoken to someone who then spoke to you.
CLINTON: No, not about any involvement of my brother. No, I want to make that 100 percent clear. I don't want you to try to put words in my mouth. I knew nothing about my brother's involvement in these pardons. I knew nothing about his taking money for his involvement. I had no knowledge of that whatsoever ...

QUESTION: Did [the President] ever speak to you about the pardons?
CLINTON: No, he did not ...

QUESTION: Senator, is Marc Rich among the people that he passed information on?
CLINTON: No. You know, I never knew about Marc Rich at all. You know, people would hand me envelopes, I would just pass them. You know, I would not have any reason to look into them. I knew nothing about the Marc Rich pardon until after it happened ...

QUESTION: Senator, do you think your husband made a mistake in pardoning Marc Rich?
CLINTON:
I know that other senators have commented on this, and I think you might understand why I'm not going to have any comment on any of the pardons, on the merits or demerits that might surround any of these pardons.

QUESTION: The person who is handling your campaign finances is also pushing pardon matters before the president you're married to. Doesn't that send a signal?
CLINTON: Well, you know, I don't know anything more about this than what has been reported. ... That's all I know about it. And he certainly did not talk to me about it. I did not know about it until it was, I guess, written about today ...

QUESTION: Are you going over any of these pardons now, yourself, to see which one next could possibly create another political problem for you and/or your husband?
CLINTON: You know, I have no idea what is coming next. You know, I was talking to a friend of mine today, and you know, we were just amazed by what has unfolded over the past weeks. I don't have any information. I don't know anything about these. And if issues are raised, I'm going to be in the same position as I've been in, which is to say that, you know, I was not involved in the decisions. I didn't even know about the vast majority of these things ever being considered. And you'll have to, really, ask the president and his staff who handled all of this ...

QUESTION: Former President Carter has said that these pardons and commutations were disgraceful and brought discredit on the process and one of the biggest mistakes that your husband has ever made. So is Mr. Carter wrong?
CLINTON: No. Mr. Carter is someone whom I admire and respect deeply, and he has every right to express his opinion. And I believe that, you know, people will have to make their judgments based on the facts as they are available ... people will have to make their own decisions. But there is a very big difference between saying what someone did and why they did it and what their motivation for doing it was and whether you agree with it or not. And, you know, we all I'm sure make decisions in our life that we believe we make for the absolutely, you know, right reasons and right motivations which someone can disagree with. You know, that is, you know, part of life, I think. So I would just say that anyone can draw whatever conclusions they choose, but ultimately the reasons rest with the president and his staff. And he can put those reasons out and people can say, "Well, I agree or disagree," and that's the way it has to be. And I believe that's, you know, the appropriate context for all of this to be discussed and judged.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Obama: Watch List '15

President Obama has granted so few pardons and commutations of sentence, we haven't much thought of anticipating individual pardons. But that doesn't mean the subject is not on the minds of others. And, with a recent round of commutations and the end of the term approaching, it is probably only a matter of time before the media engages in prognostication with reckless abandon. Interested readers may see our explanation of our own approach to this exercise here.

Watch List: Here are some individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking) released
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana)
- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl(desertion)
- Jim Black (corruption) released
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Hillary Clinton (not charged)
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations) released
- Edwin Edwards (racketeering) released
- Jerry Eversole (lying to FBI)
- Bobby Ferguson (racketeering, extortion, bribery)
- Katie Hall (mail fraud) deceased
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion) released
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (illegal use of campaign funds) released
- Sandi Jackson (plea)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) deceased
- Marion Jones (steroids) released
- Kwame Kilpatrick - (racketeering, extortion and bribery)
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
- Bradley Manning (espionage)
Chris McNair (bribery) released
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement) deceased
- General David Petraeus (unauthorized sharing of classified information)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption) released 
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution) released
- Richard Scrushy (bribery) released
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
- Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion) released
- Edward Snowden
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy) released
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dog fighting ring) released
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering) released

- Chris Williams (drugs)
- Jeri Wright (money laundering)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Obama to Pardon Sandi Jackson?

Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun Times has this to offer:
The hottest rumor to come down the political pike: Speculation President Barack Obama may pardon former Ald. Sandi Jackson before he leaves office in January 2017.
So, just like that, another candidate for our patented Pardon Watch List !

Watch List: Here are some individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring), released
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (plea)
- Sandi Jackson (plea)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
- Bradley Manning (espionage)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Serena Nunn (sentence commuted by Clinton)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption), released 
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
- Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Edward Snowden
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

- Chris Williams (drugs)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Watch List: Jackson Jr. Sentenced, Pardon to Follow?

Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Jesse Jackson, Jr., who, along with his wife, pilfered more than a quarter of a million dollars of campaign donations has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison - with the possibility of a four month reduction.

As he got into a car to drive away from reporters, Jackson, who used checks and credit cards more than 3,000 times for "personal items (such as multiple flat screen televisions, sports club memberships, nightclubs and lounges, a gold-plated Rolex watch, fur capes and parkas), said:
"I still believe in forgiveness and redemption ... and I still believe in the resurrection." 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Obama: The Watch List

December is almost here. 1 out of every 2 pardons and commutations of sentence over the last 39 years has been granted in the month of December. Word is that only a small pile of clemency recommendations has escaped the ubiquitous "NO" stamp of the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Although it appears that NO ONE has much of a chance of benefiting from federal executive clemency, here is a list of individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring) application rejected by Bush
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (under investigation)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
- Kenny Lumpkin (crack offense)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Serena Nunn (sentence commuted by Clinton)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption)  
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

- Chris Williams (drugs)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Will Obama Pardon Jesse Jackson, Jr.?

Well, it seems the time has come for bloggers world-wide and, yes, eventually, even the most respectable newspapers and television networks to start asking the burning question:

"Will President Obama pardon Jessie Jackson, Jr.?"

After all, this is the sort of thing we were all treated to the very instant any one got into trouble during the administration of George W. Bush. Remember how a Scooter Libby pardon was a sure bet? Remember the serious speculation rea pardon for Ted Stevens? Lets see, and then there was Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling,Michael Milken,"Duke" Cunningham and Larry Craig. How about the chatter about a possible presidential pardon for Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens who, at the time, was not even formally charged with anything, much less convicted? Why one would have the general impression that George Bush was the greatest pal a felon could ever have! One would have neverguessed Bush was among the most stingy presidents in history, when it came to granting pardons!

Where on earth has all of the time and energy for this kind of fun gone???

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Watch List 2012: Some Modifications

Some modifications to our Pardon Watch List for 2012. We remove John Edwards and add Stephen Arrington. Please no betting. Here are some  individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring) application rejected by Bush
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (plea)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Serena Nunn (sentence commuted by Clinton)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption)  
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

- Chris Williams (drugs)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Pardon Watch List, 2012

OK, here is our first run of the Pardon Watch List for 2012. Please no betting. Here are some  individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring) application rejected by Bush
- John Edwards (illegal use of campaign funds)
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)

- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption)  
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Will President Obama Pardon Barry Bonds?

"Barry Bonds has been a remarkable baseball player and I honor his achievements"Barack Obama.

After a 12 day trial and 4 days of jury deliberation, 46-year old Barry Bonds, the all-time home run king of Major League Baseball, has been convicted of obstruction of justice. The New York Times reports that his sentence could be up to 10 years in length, "although he is not expected to receive anywhere near that length of prison time, if any."

So, it seems like it is time for bloggers world-wide and, yes, eventually, even the most respectable newspapers and television networks to start asking the burning question: "Will President Obama pardon Barry Bonds?"

After all, this is the sort of thing we were all treated to the very instant any one got into trouble during the administration of George W. Bush. Remember how a Scooter Libby pardon was a sure bet? Remember the serious speculation re a pardon for Ted Stevens? Lets see, and then there was Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, Michael Milken, "Duke" Cunningham and Larry Craig. How about the chatter about a possible presidential pardon for Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens who, at the time, was not even formally charged with anything, much less convicted?

Why one would have the general impression that George Bush was the greatest pal a criminal could ever have! One would have never guessed he was among the most stingy presidents in history, when it came to granting pardons!

Where on earth has all of the time and energy for this kind of fun gone??? We miss it so! See Washington Post story here. See New York Times story here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Will Obama Pardon Blago to Avoid Being Undressed in Court?

Lawyers for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich want President Obama subpoenaed. Come on now! This is no time to lose our sense of humor! It all raises the obvious question, does it not?

Will President Obama pardon Blago in order to avoid being undressed by lawyers? And let's face it, it is just the kind of question that would be seriously (or at least passionately) asked and bounced around the blogosphere ad nauseum if George W. Bush were president!

What? Have you forgotten all of the energy there used to be for outrageous Bush pardon speculation? Bush will pardon Ted Stevens. Bush will pardon Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. Bush will pardon Michael Milken. Bush will pardon Roger Clemens. Bush will pardon "Duke" Cunningham. Bush will pardon Larry Craig. Bush will pardon Scooter Libby. Bush will pardon Karl Rove. Bush will pardon Dick Cheney. Bush will pardon himself! Bush will pardon Cheney, then resign, and Cheney will pardon Bush!

My, my, where has all of this energy gone?

Then again, maybe those of us who are critical of the President for granting zero pardons and commutations of sentence in 455 days are just clueless. Maybe, just maybe Obama's D.O.J. has been at the helm all along, cranking out those double secret pardons that John Dean and Keith Olbermann were all over during the Bush "regime."

Monday, May 18, 2009

The President: Pending Applications. Continuing Problem

The Calgary Herald reminds us that George W. Bush denied the pardon applications of Michael Milken, Randall “Duke” Cunningham, Edwin Edwards, Mario Biaggi, John Walker Lindh and Leonard Peltier before leaving office. But President Bush failed to act on the applications of "corporate felons" Conrad Black and Bernard Ebbers. As a result, their applications are still pending at the Justice Department. Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney says the applications of former Illinois Republican Governor George Ryan and Jonathan Pollard are also "pending" and thus "alive for consideration by President Barack Obama."

With some irony, Bush is described by the Herald as being "tight-fisted" with pardons without observing that President Obama has yet to grant a single pardon or commutation of sentence. As such, this administration is well on its way to becoming the very slowest to exercise the Article II clemency power. See story here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The President: Denied!

While there is no shortage of articles floating around out there about persons who applied for a presidential pardon and failed to get one, this article by Josh Meyer takes the time to focus on clamency applications which were explicitly denied by President Bush. Among the denials were Randall ``Duke'' Cunningham, Edwin Edwards, Mario Biaggi, Michael Milken, John Walker Lindh, Justin Volpe, Leonard Peltier. Meyer notes:
Such denials can be a serious setback for those intent on clemency. After a denial a petitioner must wait two years to re-apply for a pardon and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence, although they can also circumvent the Justice Department and appeal directly to the White House whenever they want. In some cases, a presidential denial can be a setback in other ways as well, and make it harder politically for the next administration to approve it, according to several current and former administration officials involved in the pardon process.
The last thought seems a stretch, especially when there is a change in the partisan identification of the president. Nonetheless, it seem fair to say that these denials should be part of any analysis of President Bush's record on federal executive clemency.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Politico: Odds on Pardons

At Politico.com, Josh Gerstein discusses a list of 10 cases President Bush could "review" via the pardon power and even offers "odds" for each. They are as follows:

1. Of course, there are the unprecedented, blanket, preemptive, turbo, double secret self-pardons - 4 to 1
2. I. lewis "Scooter" Libby - 1 to 2
3. Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales - 1 to 1
4. AIPAC lobbyists (Franklin, Rosen and Weissman) - 20 to 1 and 10 to 1
5. Bradley Schlozman - 4 to 1
6. Junk bond king Michael Milkin - 2 to 1
7. Former border patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean - 3 to 1
8. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan - 4 to 1
9. Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard - 20 to 1
10. Former Representative Randall “Duke” Cunningham - 50 to 1

See Gerstein's summary of each case and explanation for the odds here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Watch List: Countdown. One Last Look!

The final hours are ticking down on the Bush administration. So that means there is time for just one more look at our Pardon Watch List. When Obama takes office, we erase the slate - or most of it at any rate. New game in town.

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing) Denied (12/23/08)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Weldon Angelos - Application in
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice) Application in.
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens Because we are insane and have too much time on our hands
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien) Sentence commuted (1/19/09)
- Randy Cunningham Denied
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Denied
- John Forte (cocaine) X - sentence commuted to end December 22, 2008 (11/24/08).
- Florita Bell Griffin (bribery, theft, money laundering)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act) Pardon of Charlie Winters a positive sign
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in. If not Bush, Obama
- Bernard Kerik (corruption) A sleeper in the pile
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice) To most, "the big one"
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Denied
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering) Released, September 4, 2008
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Denied (Slate said "excellent chance")
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds) Hey, if we are pardoning dead people!
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents) Denied
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien) Sentence commuted (1/19/09)
- George Ryan (corruption) Application in. Maybe he walks, if Edwards walks too
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption) less than the snowball's chance, for now
- Don Siegelman
(corruption) less than the snowball's chance, for now
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice) Waiting for Obama
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws) Some are betting on it!
- James Tobin (false statement to FBI) Slate says "good chance"
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring) waiting for Obama
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering) Another sleeper.
- Charles T. Winters (violation neutrality laws). Pardoned December 23, 2008.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Watch List: Update

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice) Application in.
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Randy Cunningham Application in.
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Application in.
- John Forte (cocaine) X - sentence commuted to end December 22, 2008 (11/24/08).
- Florita Bell Griffin (bribery, theft, money laundering)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in.
- Bernard Kerik (corruption)
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Application in.
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering) Released, September 4, 2008
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Application in.
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption) Application in.
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws)
- James Tobin (false statement to FBI)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Charles T. Winters (violation neutrality laws). Pardoned December 23, 2008.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

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