September 20, 1999
Justice to provide only limited testimony at FALN hearing

                  By Terry Frieden/CNN

                  WASHINGTON -- Three Justice Department officials subpoenaed by
                  Congress to testify on clemency for Puerto Rican prisoners plan to provide
                  only limited testimony to a House panel Tuesday, citing executive privilege.

                  Acting Assistant Attorney General Jon Jennings, FBI Assistant Director
                  Neal Gallagher, and Bureau of Prisons Assistant Director Michael Cooksey
                  will appear before the House Government Reform Committee headed by
                  Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana).

                  "They will not testify on anything relating to executive privilege," said
                  Justice Department spokeswoman Gina Talamona.

                   President Bill Clinton invoked executive privilege last week to
                   shield internal administration documents and deliberations on the
                   process that culminated in his decision to grant clemency to 16
                   members of the sometimes violent Puerto Rican independence group,

                  "This is not a national security situation," said Burton spokesman Mark
                  Corrallo. "Either they have something to hide, or else invoking executive
                  privilege is simply rank arrogance."

                  The Capitol Hill faceoff takes place exactly one week after the Justice
                  Department refused to allow Gallagher to testify voluntarily at a Senate
                  hearing on the same subject.

                  Justice Department officials say the three witnesses will be allowed to
                  provide background information on the Puerto Rican independence
                  organization FALN, and its deadly bombing campaign in the United States,
                  but not on the discussions or recommendations to grant clemency.

                  Republicans have seized on the president's clemency decision as a sign the
                  administration is not tough on terrorists.

                  Nearly all law enforcement officials, including the FBI and the Bureau of
                  Prisons, have privately made clear their strong opposition to the president's
                  clemency decision.

                  As the government officials prepared to testify, the Justice Department
                  Monday shipped to Burton's committee staff boxes of FALN-related
                  documents subpoenaed by the panel. A committee official said staffers were
                  just beginning to sift through the documents, hoping the material included
                  relevant prison records on the released FALN members.

                  In addition to the government witnesses, Burton has also called victims of
                  FALN bombings to testify Tuesday. At least one policeman injured by an
                  FALN bomb in New York City, the widow of another policeman killed and
                  the son of a civilian killed by the group are expected to criticize the clemency
                  decision at the hearing.