Shortly after President Bush issued a pardon to real estate scammer Isaac Toussie, media reports revealed that his father, Robert Toussie, was a major Republican party donor. In response, Bush took the unprecedented step of revoking Toussie’s pardon, citing “information that has subsequently come to light.”
Despite the fact that Toussie’s pardon bypassed the Department of Justice, the White House insisted that neither White House Counsel Fred Fielding, nor Bush was aware that Toussie’s father was a significant Republican donor at the time of the pardon. White House spokesperson Tony Fratto reiterated the claim in today’s New York Daily News:
“The President found out that [Isaac Toussie] had a relative who had donated to the campaign when the Daily News informed us about it. Period.”
But the Bush administration’s continued insistence that no one in the White House was aware of Toussie’s father’s financial connections to the Republican party is looking increasingly doubtful. First, the New York Daily News unearthed a photo of the president shaking hands with Toussie’s father “during a high-dollar fund-raiser at the Manhattan home of top GOP donor Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire.”
And now, the Daily News has uncovered a second event, this one at the Bush ranch in Crawford, TX, at which Toussie’s father and Bush rubbed elbows. The Daily News reports:
Robert Toussie, who gave the Republican National Committee $28,500 in March, traveled to Crawford, Tex., to meet with Bush. … Toussie got to hang with Bush, as well as ex-President George H.W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, at the cash bash. […]
The White House insists talk of a pardon never came up. … The White House would not confirm the date of the Texas event. But details of the gathering mirror an April 12 Republican fund-raiser that raised $3.5 million and featured a roast of the two President Bushes by their wives, Laura and Barbara.
As the Daily News notes, at no point in the process of responding to the reversal of his pardon decision did Bush or his staffers make any “mention of the meetings Bush had with Toussie.”