An update on this story from Ben Smith at Politico:
Toussie pardon cancelled
President Bush pulled the plug on the pardon of a mortgage scammer, which I noted with surprise yesterday, and whose outraged victims the New York papers quoted today.
Isaac Toussie's pardon was among those listed in a press release yesterday. But the White House just issued the following statement:
"Yesterday the President forwarded to the Pardon Attorney a Master Warrant of Clemency including 19 requests for pardons with direction that he execute and deliver grants of clemency to the named individuals.
"With respect to the case of Mr. Isaac R. Toussie, the Counsel to the President reviewed the application and believed, based on the information known to him at the time, that it was a meritorious application. He so advised the President, who accepted the recommendation.
"Based on information that has subsequently come to light, the President has directed the Pardon Attorney not to execute and deliver a Grant of Clemency to Mr. Toussie. The Pardon Attorney has not provided a recommendation on Mr. Toussie’s case because it was filed less than five years from completion of his sentence. The President believes that the Pardon Attorney should have an opportunity to review this case before a decision on clemency is made."
Ben Smith writes:
I'd love to know the backstory on this one, because one factor -- the father's $28,500 contribution to the RNC -- seemed both like a)not enough money to buy a pardon and b)to create an appearance of conflict that made it a heavier lift, not a lighter one.
You can say that again. A far, far better pardon candidate here.