Federal Presidential Pardon

A Study of Noteworthy Presidential Pardons

Isaac Robert Toussie

Posted on | February 14, 2010 | No Comments

Isaac Robert Toussie was convicted of fraudulently obtaining mortgages from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was pardoned by George W. Bush, but then, suddenly, W revoked the pardon several days later.

This pardon is most notable.

The pardon was apparently revoked after W learned that Toussie’s father had made various contributions to the Republican party and that the application for the pardon usurped the normal chain at the department of justice and the pardon attorney and wound up in the hands of white house counsel.

When you apply for a pardon with the Department of Justice, strong language appears on the application that you must wait five years after the conviction to apply for a pardon. When folks contact me, I usually won’t even do a pardon application unless the total government supervision has been expired for at least five years, let alone the conviction. The only exception to this is when the pardon clears up immigration issues, we will accept them. I digress. In the instant discussion, Mr. Toussie’s conviction wasn’t even close to the five year mark, not to mention the total period of supervision.

A significant question is posed about the illegality of W’s revocation. Does the president have the power to revoke a pardon? Apparently the answer is that if the filing of the actual paperwork has not been perfected by the pardon attorney at the department of justice, then the president can revoke the pardon.

Precedent exists regarding revocation of pardons. See In re De Puy, 7 F. Cas. 506, 510-11 (S.D.N.Y. 1869) (holding that a pardon can be revoked if the paperwork has not been perfected). Some experts prescribe to this theory as why W did not revoke Marc Rich’s pardon.

Fool me once, shame on you. Get your dad to donate money to the party and influence white house counsel behind the president’s back to get you pardoned, shame on you twice.

Toussie's Dad and W

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