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White House: Expect more pardons from Bush.

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"White House: Expect more pardons from Bush."

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In today’s White House press briefing, a reporter noted to spokesman Tony Fratto that the “administration has indicated that the president is unlikely, at the last minute, to issue a batch of pardons.” Fratto, however, quickly took issue with that statement, saying, “I don’t think we’ve indicated that.” He then hinted that there will be more pardons coming soon:

FRATTO: We do expect additional — additional clemency requests. The president has been considering them. And, hopefully, soon we’ll have something for you on that.

I can’t tell you that — when exactly the next one will come — the next batch will come and whether there will be more after that. I think the president has maintained his authority to do that until — until his last day as president, so we’re not going to — I don’t think we’ll take that away from him. But I think we should have something soon on clemency petitions.

Watch it:

Some possible pardons to watch for: Ted Stevens, Donald Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby, and everyone who has participated in the administration’s torture and wiretapping programs.

Transcript:

QUESTION: The administration has indicated that the president is unlikely, at the last minute, to issue a batch of pardons. I’m wondering if…

FRATTO: I don’t know — no, I don’t think we’ve indicated that. I mean…

QUESTION: Well, I’ve been told that.

FRATTO: You have?

QUESTION: Yes. But the key there was…

FRATTO: One of those unnamed sources somewhere?

QUESTION: I think he was named.

FRATTO: OK.

QUESTION: The key was that at the last minute, on the way out the door. I’m curious if you expect another round of pardons or commutations before the president leaves office.

FRATTO: We do expect additional — additional clemency requests. The president has been considering them. And, hopefully, soon we’ll have something for you on that.

I can’t tell you that — when exactly the next one will come — the next batch will come and whether there will be more after that. I think the president has maintained his authority to do that until — until his last day as president, so we’re not going to — I don’t think we’ll take that away from him. But I think we should have something soon on clemency petitions.

QUESTION: Would you expect it this week, Tony?

FRATTO: I’m not going to put a point on that. The — the process is run from the Office of the Pardon Attorney over at the Department of Justice. Any announcement, as they all have, will — will come from the Department of Justice. I would just stay ready to look for that paper to come across.

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