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Scooter Libby’s conviction opens discussion on Bush II’s pardoning policies and procedures

Mar 13, 2007 Scooter Libby’s conviction opens discussion on Bush II’s pardoning policies and procedures

Scooter Libby (Image from public domain).

On March 6, I said that if George Bush II decides to pardon Scooter Libby, I can think of many equally deserving — but less influential — candidates for Mr. Bush to pardon.

Thanks to the Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin for addressing Mr. Bush’s stingy approach to granting presidential pardons. The Justice Department’s published pardon guidelines say not to bother seeking a pardon until one has been released from prison: "The [Justice] Department’s regulations require a petitioner to wait a period of at least five years after conviction or release from confinement (whichever is later) before filing a pardon application (28 C.F.R. § 1.2)." United States Attorney’s Manual Standards for Consideration of Clemency Petitions § 1-2.112.

If Mr. Bush bypasses the foregoing pardon standards and pardons Libby, he will have some explaining to do about whether he also will be relaxing the pardon standards for everyone else. Jon Katz.

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