Bush pardons 19

So far, there have been no big names among the pardons and commutations issued by the lame duck president.


Alex Koppelman
December 24, 2008 1:25AM (UTC)

Someone break the bad news to the Wall Street Journal's editorial board: The Department of Justice has just announced the latest round of pardons issued by President Bush, and no big names made the list.

In all, 19 pardons and one commutation were announced Tuesday. A number of the people on the list were convicted of a drug offense; there's a "conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens" in there too, along with mail fraud, embezzlement, trafficking in counterfeit goods and aiding and abetting the violation of one section of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

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There were a couple interesting names in the group.

The Associated Press noted the posthumous pardon given to Charles Winters, who in the late 1940's was convicted of violating the Neutrality Act for helping to send arms to Jews in the Middle East who were fighting for Israel's independence.

And Politico's Ben Smith points to Isaac Toussie, who was convicted of making false statements to Housing and Urban Development.

Toussie and his father were also the subjects of a class-action lawsuit filed "on behalf of 400 families, primarily in Suffolk County and on Staten Island, who said they were duped into buying overpriced, shoddily built homes from one of Suffolk's largest residential builders," according to Newsday. The suit, which was later thrown out because it failed to qualify as a class action, "charge[d] that Brooklyn-based developers Robert Toussie and his son, Isaac, acted in concert with more than a dozen lenders to defraud minority home buyers."

As Smith observes, Robert Toussie contributed $28,500 to the Republican National Committee earlier this year.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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