***UPDATE***NY lawmaker seeks to prevent Bush pardons of “cronies”(h/t Naked Emperor News)
Naked Emperor News has unearthed a 2007 KJFK radio interview Barack Obama gave to host Christiane Brown. He promised that one of his first acts as president would be to call on his new Attorney General to investigate the Bush administration(emphasis is mine:)
BROWN: And when you are... if you were to be elected president of the United States, Senator Obama, do you feel that we need to look back if the investigations have been done on this administration find out what happened, because there’s a fear there’s a dangerous precedent being set... the CIA interrogation tapes missing, warrant-less wire tapping, all of these are violations of the Constitution, and people can be forgiven for thinking that it seems like we only enforce the Constitution when its politically expedient.
OBAMA: Well one of things that I’ve said, and I’ve said this repeatedly publicly, since I taught constitutional law for ten years is that...one of my first acts as president is going to be call in my new attorney general to review every single executive order that’s been issued... to overturn those that are undermining the Constitution, undermining our civil liberties, that are promoting this cockamamie theory of Unitary government, that says that somehow the executive branch does not need to obey the Constitution…uhh
BROWN: But, but Senator Obama forgive me…
OBAMA: Let, let me finish…and during that process of review, if it’s determined that laws have been broken, then obviously accountability would be part of my Attorney General’s job.
BROWN: Why, Senator, would it energize them if crimes were revealed? I think it would weaken the Republican Party.
OBAMA: You are assuming that we are not currently trying our best to document and investigate problems that are out there.
At the 2008 American Constitution Society National Convention, Obama’s choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder says the following later on in the clip:
HOLDER: The term "leader of the free world" is bestowed upon the United States President, because of the civil liberties and rights we guarantee our people. It comes from the power of our values as a nation. For the last six years, the position of leader of the free world has been largely vacant. We owe the American people a reckoning.
Again, the Bush administration will find itself being stabbed in the back by those they tried to “reach across the aisle to.”
The entire matter was handled in an unorthodox manner - on a straight line from Rich's lawyer to the White House, with a consulting role for Holder.
Later, Holder said he told White House counsel Beth Nolan the day before the pardon was issued that he was "neutral, leaning toward favorable" in regard to the pardon. He said he and Nolan "never had a prolonged conversation about the matter."
To make matters worse, Holder had asked Quinn for his help in becoming attorney general in the event then-Vice President Al Gore won the 2000 election.
Both Republicans and Democrats were apalled by the lack of judicial process displayed. Yet the Bush administration looked the other way when it came time to issue any accusations. A 2005 AP article described the situation:
The Bush White House has argued that releasing pardon-related documents would have a chilling effect on internal discussions leading up to presidential action on such requests.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called it an instance of the Bush administration covering up a Clinton administration scandal.
“Reaching across the aisle” for the new Obama administration only means tapping previous Clinton administration staffers (including Hillary Clinton herself for Secretary of State), so Bush and company should not expect a slap on the back but a slap in the face post inauguration January 20, 2009.