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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Watch List: Ryan In (Finally)

With some modifications.

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). Application in.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Watch List: Black is In

It's official, Conrad Black has "recently submitted legal bills to Sun-Times Media Group, Inc., some of which referred to work done in pursuit of a clemency plea, according to sources familiar with the matter."

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.
- 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)
- 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). Application in.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Watch List: Crunch Time Ahead

When Obama steps into the White House, the Watch List may feature some folks at ACORN, Tony Rezko, and Larry Walsh. But, for now, the list is as follows:

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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)

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, July 19, 2008

The Times on Bush and the Pardon Power

Charlie Savage of the New York Times has written a very general front-page piece on the pardon power and the Bush administration. He begins by noting applications for pardons and commutations are "at historic levels" and, among those seeking clemency are Michael Milken, Randy Cunningham, Edwin W. Edwards, John Walker Lindh and Marion Jones. PardonPower talked with Mr. Savage earlier this week and shared our Watch List with him.

Margaret Colgate Love, a former U.S. Pardon Attorney who is now in private practice is quoted as saying:
“I have cases that date from the Clinton administration ... I have cases that I filed in the last two or three years and have not even gotten any word about the first step of the investigation being authorized. It’s unbelievable.”
Savage also reports that new petitions for clemency "are on pace to surpass 2,100 this fiscal year" and that "the record is the 1,827 petitions filed in 2001" (see PardonPower chart here). He also says the Justice Department has not received clemency applications from Scooter Libby, Jack Abranoff, Bob Ney, George Ryan, Conrad Black, Martha Stewart or border patrol agents Compean and Ramos. See full Times article here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Campaign 08: Clinton Comes Clean!

Mrs. Clinton has, at last, addressed her husband's use of the pardon power on behalf of two members of the radical group Weather Underground (see previous commentary here). The question became relevant, of course, when, in the recent debate, Mrs. Clinton attempted to brand rival presidential candidate Barack Obama for being acquainted with William Ayers, another member of the same group - a member who was never actually sent to prison. But, finally, Mrs. Clinton has been directly asked about her husband's decision making and she has responded:

Well, I didn't know anything about it.

Perhaps the cynic will not be pleased. But, recall, Mrs. Clinton knew nothing as to the whereabouts of those Whitewater billing records, until they were found in boxes in her closet (see commentary here). She knew nothing about the FALN pardons. She knew nothing about her husband's pardon of his own half-brother (Roger Clinton). She knew nothing about her brother, Hugh, collecting almost a half a million dollars to pursue pardons for others. But she was "upset" and "disappointed" to learn about it. She knew nothing about her brother, Tony, helping with pardons either. Mrs. Clinton knew nothing about William J. Cunningham (her campaign treasurer) pursuing pardons for two felons. But she was "disappointed" to learn about that business as well. It goes without saying that Mrs. Clinton knew nothing about the assistance fellow Arkansan and White House council Bruce Lindsey provided for her brother. But Mrs. Clinton took the trouble to tell CNN, "I don't know anything" (see Hillary revel in her lack of knowledge here).

Why, there just might not be any limit to what Mrs. Clinton does not know about one of the most scandalous chapters in the history of presidential pardons - the one which features her own husband, both of her brothers, her brother-in-law, her campaign treasurer and other long-time political associates.

Of course, we are still waiting to learn if Mrs. Clinton was/is "upset" or "disappointed" to learn of her husband's use of the pardon power on behalf of Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans. My advice: Don't hold your breath! See both the debate chat and Clinton's statement here.

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.

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