Here's how it worked back in 1992:
Is there anyone who thinks W isn't capable of doing the same?
President Bush December 24 granted pardons to former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five other individuals for their conduct related to the Iran-Contra affair.
Bush said Weinberger -- who had been scheduled to go on trial in Washington January 5 on charges related to Iran-Contra -- was a "true American patriot," who had served with "distinction" in a series of public positions since the late 1960s.
"I am pardoning him not just out of compassion or to spare a 75-year-old patriot the torment of lengthy and costly legal proceedings, but to make it possible for him to receive the honor he deserves for his extraordinary service to our country," Bush said in a proclamation granting executive clemency.
The president also pardoned five other persons who already had pleaded guilty or had been indicted or convicted in connection with the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages investigation. They were Elliott Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs; former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane; and Duane Clarridge, Alan Fiers, and Clair George, all former employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.