From Associated Press
WASHINGTON--A House committee subpoenaed all
administration records Wednesday related to President
Clinton's decision to offer clemency to 16 Puerto Rican militants.
Subpoenas issued by Rep. Dan Burton's Committee on
Government Reform and Oversight, which were obtained by the
Associated Press, seek records from the White House, the Justice
Department and the Bureau of Prisons.
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
also requested information from the Justice Department in
anticipation of expected congressional hearings on the matter.
In a letter to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno, Hatch (R-Utah) said he was
troubled by published reports indicating the Justice Department had
not made a formal recommendation to the White House on
clemency, despite law enforcement officials' vigorous objections.
He also said he was bothered by reports that there were Bureau of
Prison recordings of the inmates in which they plotted to use
"I would hope that, on a matter of such importance, the Department
of Justice--and the attorney general in particular--would make its
views known to the White House," Hatch wrote.
The Bureau of Prisons has declined to confirm or deny existence of
the audiotapes, but a spokesman did say that inmates' social calls
are monitored routinely by officials.
Clinton announced last month that he would commute the sentences
of the 16 Puerto Rican nationalists if they disavowed the use of
Most of the 16 are members of the FALN--the Spanish initials for
Armed Forces of National Liberation--which carried out about 130
bomb attacks on political and military targets in the United States
from 1974 to 1983. The attacks killed six people.
Human rights officials argued that the sentences, ranging from 15
years to 90 years in prison, were too harsh because none of the 16
was convicted of involvement in any deaths.
Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times.