01/03/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

White House Won't Comment On Ryan Clemency Request

The White House today acknowledged receiving Sen. Dick Durbin's request for executive clemency for former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, but the administration isn't saying much about the likelihood of President George W. Bush granting it.

Also today, President-elect Barack Obama's office said it wasn't "appropriate" for Obama to get involved in the controversy that has developed over requests for clemency for Ryan, who was convicted in 2006 on federal corruption charges.

During the morning White House press briefing, Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino was asked whether the president had received Durbin's letter asking him to commute Ryan's 6 ½-year sentence to the little more than 13 months he has served.

"Well, I can tell you that we have received the request from Sen. Durbin, but I would not comment on the pardon process--except for to say that anyone who is eligible for a pardon can apply for one, and those requests go through our pardon attorney, which is at the Justice Department," she said.

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