Washington President George W. Bush on Wednesday revoked a pardon he had granted only a day before — a step unheard of in recent memory — after learning in news reports of political contributions to Republicans by the man’s father and other information.
Bush pardoned 19 people on Tuesday, including Isaac Robert Toussie of Brooklyn, N.Y., who had been convicted of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and of mail fraud. On Wednesday, the White House issued an extraordinary statement saying the president was reversing his decision in Toussie’s case.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the new decision was “based on information that has subsequently come to light,” including on the extent and nature of Toussie’s prior criminal offenses. She also said that neither the White House counsel’s office nor the president had been aware of a political contribution by Toussie’s father that “might create an appearance of impropriety.”
“Given that, this was the prudent thing to do,” she said.
The new information came to the White House’s attention from news reports, Perino said.
A story in the New York Daily News said Toussie’s father, Robert, donated $28,500 to the national Republican Party in April. It came just months before Toussie’s pardon petition, the newspaper said.
The counsel’s office generally doesn’t include vetting of political contributions in its reviews on such matters, as that would be “highly inappropriate on many levels,” she said.