New York Post
September 16, 1999


  Ex-cop Rich Pastorella and Joe Connor testify in the Senate yesterday. Pastorella was gravely injured by an FALN bomb; Connor's father was killed.

                  By BRIAN BLOMQUIST and ROBERT HARDT, Jr.

                 The Senate yesterday voted 95-2 to condemn President Clinton's clemency to 16 Puerto Rican
                 militants - as the White House stonewalled questions on how the decision was made.

                 Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the White House stonewalling was a key reason for voting to
                 condemn Clinton's clemency grant.

                 "I have repeatedly requested information on these cases. I have been given no such information and
                 therefore have voted to support the resolution," Schumer said.

                 Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.) charged that the White House, in a last-minute move, "pulled the
                 plug" on a witness from the FBI who was set to testify to a Senate hearing on Clinton's
                 controversial clemency decision.

                 The stonewalling appears only to have fanned the flames against Clinton's clemency, which led to the
                 freeing last week of 11 jailed members of the FALN, a Puerto Rican terrorist group responsible
                 for 130 bombings and six deaths.

                 In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, Coverdell wrote, "It is completely unacceptable
                 for the administration to refuse to discuss the president's decision to offer clemency to 16
                 convicted terrorists."

                 Aides to Clinton and Reno said they hadn't decided whether they'll allow witnesses to testify
                 at a Senate hearing today and a House hearing tomorrow on Clinton's get-out-of-jail deal.

                 The House Government Reform Committee tried to force a response by subpoenaing the testimony
                 of White House Counsel Beth Nolan and officials from the FBI, Justice Department and Bureau of

                 Sources said the White House is considering having Clinton claim executive privilege to keep
                 the witnesses from testifying.

                 The White House also has refused to give Congress documents that might provide details on
                 how Clinton's decision was made and whether it involved political consideration for Hillary
                 Clinton's all-but-announced Senate campaign in New York.

                 "We've gotten a number of different requests from Capitol Hill. We're evaluating those," said White
                 House scandal spokesman Jim Kennedy.

                 When Clinton first made the clemency offer over a month ago, there was speculation it was to help
                 Hillary Clinton attract votes from New York's 1.3 million Puerto Ricans.

                 But it has only hurt Mrs. Clinton, who came out against clemency 11 days ago and denies knowing
                 anything about the original offer.