White House press secretary Dana Perino said neither Bush nor counsel Fred Fielding was aware of the GOP contributions from the father of Isaac Robert Toussie, who had been convicted of mail fraud and of making false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Perino said Bush had also been unaware of other aspects of the Toussie case that were revealed in news reports yesterday.
"Looking at the totality of the case, more could have been described to the president," Perino said. "The political contributions certainly were not known. It raises the appearance of impropriety, so the president prudently decided not to go through with the pardon."
See as usual with Bush it was "all about the Benjamins baby". In this case Perino is clearly stating that the appearance of impropriety because of the political contributions of Toussie's father was the driving force behind the revocation of the pardon. So then you might assume by Perino's statement that whether or not political contributions were made by a potential pardon recipient's family or friends should be a criteria in whether or not they are actually granted that pardon by the President. Not according to Tony Fratto. He says its all crazy talk.
From the USA Today:
Bush spokesman Tony Fratto declined to discuss the Maiss case, saying the White House ordinarily does not comment on individual pardon decisions.
"We do not look into political contributions" in reviewing pardon requests, he said Thursday. "We think it would be inappropriate to do that. They should have no influence over our decision-making."
Now I guess I should in the interests of full disclosure point out that Fratto was actually referring to a different pardon granted to Alan Maiss and the money that he contributed to Bush's reelection in 2004, but isn't it interesting the different criteria that spokesman for the President have for pardons being handed out depending upon who the pardon is handed out to and what their crime was? Some has been ex gambling exec refuses to rat out a peer on his ties to organized crime and who cares what monies he gave to the Republicans. It shouldn't even be in the criteria for granting the pardon. I mean La Costra Nostra hasn't exactly been in the news of late. But let a guy who has involved in mortgage fraud with the ongoing financial crisis where mortgage fraud is part of the genesis of the problem, then in that case party contributions are vewy vewy bad. Don't get me wrong, I think the slimeball should not only not be pardoned but also thrown back in jail. But why the double standard at work here?
Of course maybe, just maybe this contradiction is largely due to the fact that Karl Rove wants to derail the Eric Holder confirmation for Attorney General because of his role in the Marc Rich scandal and Toussie's pardon would have hurt that effort.
Nah, nobody is that devious. Are they?