Plea for Stevens

PLEA FOR STEVENS…. I’ve been keeping a close eye on the pardon issue, wondering who, if anyone, will get 11th-hour clemency from George W. Bush. He has 25 hours to go, and on Thursday, Dana Perino was a little vague about whether the president had any additional pardons in mind.

The lobbying, meanwhile, continues. Some in the conservative media are still pushing for a Scooter Libby pardon, and at least one Republican senator is urging Bush to help Ted Stevens.

CBS News has confirmed that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has asked President Bush to pardon Ted Stevens, the former Alaska senator from charged with several felony counts by a federal jury in 2008.

Murkowski’s spokesperson, Mike Brumas spoke to CBS News’ Ryan Corsaro by phone, saying that Sen. Murkowski had made the request to President Bush, but would not give details.

“It’s a sensitive time right now,” said Brumas after confirming the pardon had been requested. Murkowski does not have an announcement scheduled for tomorrow.

Your guess is as good as mine as to whether Bush will actually act on Stevens’ case, but I’m skeptical. Stevens was convicted on seven felony counts of corruption, was thrown out of office by his constituents, and left the Senate in disgrace. If Bush is mindful of his “legacy,” does he really want his last act as president to be a “get out of jail free” card to a politician who flagrantly violated the public trust?

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation