Charlie Savage reports on how you get a pardon from George W. Bush. The Justice Department’s website suggests that you fill out some paperwork and file it with the Justice Department’s Pardons Attorney. But it turns out that this is the approach for schmucks. There’s a special inside track and it involves making substantial payments to the G.O.P. and Republican candidates, hiring an attorney with ties to George W. Bush, and getting in to see White House counsel Fred R. Fielding. The Tussie caper was, apparently, the least of it.
With prominent pardon candidate Karl Rove serving as their chief strategist, Republicans are now carefully looking over Eric Holder’s record in preparation for his January 15 confirmation hearing. They are expected to attack him based on his role in the Clinton decision to pardon Marc Rich. Will the developments relating to the Bush pardon machine have any effect on that strategy? There’s never a shortage of irony inside the beltway.