President Bush issued pardons to 19 people and commuted the prison term of one more. They included five people whose convictions date to his administration, reports USA Today. Among them was the late Charles Thompson Winters of Miami, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for helping supply military aircraft to Jews fighting to establish Israel in 1948. Others pardoned included a variety of drug dealers, embezzlers and forgers, bringing to 199 the number of people he has pardoned or granted clemency to during his eight-year term.
Only Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, with 74 pardons and three prison-term commutations, used the pardon power less in recent history. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford pardoned or commuted more than 400 sentences; Jimmy Carter and John Kennedy more than 500; Richard Nixon nearly 1,000; and Lyndon Johnson nearly 1,200. Bush commuted the 30-month prison term of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who as Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice in the leak of an undercover CIA agent’s name. Bush has not acted on a pardon request from Michael Milken, former junk bond dealer convicted of securities fraud.