Clock is ticking on pardons

CLOCK IS TICKING ON PARDONS…. It’s possible that the Toussie fiasco rattled the Bush White House a bit on the issue of clemency, but I more or less assumed we’d be hearing more about pardons as this presidency winds down.

Today a reporter asked White House press secretary Dana Perino about pardons, and she replied that she has reporters “talk to the hand when it comes to pardons.” (Yes, an acute case of “senioritis” among top White House aides has set in.)

Perino added, “[W]e have never talked about them from here in terms of what may or may not be coming. And I’m not going to start on five days to go…. I don’t anticipate that you’ll have any [pardons], necessarily, on the 20th, but I can’t say that for sure because a President always holds that power and that right up until the time that they’re not — no longer President. So I’m not going to restrain him and that power in any way.”

So, maybe more pardons, maybe not.

For those following this, ProPublica‘s Dafna Linzer had a good item recently about what to watch for in terms of pardons, breaking down convicts by category and rating the likelihood of presidential clemency on a scale of zero to four “Get of Jail Free” cards. Using Linzer’s guide, keep an eye out over the next couple of days on the fate of Texas Border Patrol guards Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, Scooter Libby, New England phone-jammer James Tobin, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, and Ted Stevens. Also keep an eye on interrogation officials who’ve used administration-endorsed torture techniques.

I’d largely assumed that Libby would get a pardon, but time is obviously running out. Bush’s presidency ends in 112 hours.