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 For Immediate Release
Sep 21, 1999 Contact: Press Office


Testimony to Occur at 1:00 pm Today Before the Government Reform and Oversight Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building

(Washington, D.C.) Thomas Connor, whose father, Frank Connor, was killed at Fraunces Tavern 24 years ago by terrorists, will appear before the House of Representatives today and ask it to investigate the following aspects of President Clinton's clemency grant:

Why the President disregarded the recommendations by the FBI, Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons that the terrorists not be released?
Why the victims and their families were neither given proper notification of the clemency as required under the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Section 10607(c)(5), nor a meeting with Janet Reno, as pro clemency supporters were granted?
Why the President initiated the clemency process without a formal request from the terrorists themselves?
Whether Hillary Rodham Clinton's political aspirations in New York State played a role in the clemency grant?

In his statement, copies of which will be available at the hearing, Mr. Connor argues that the political expediency of the Clintons should not take precedence over the safety of the American public and that America should be stepping up its war on terrorism, not sending a message of retreat to a terrorist organization that has shown no remorse for its misdeeds. Mr. Connor also asks in his prepared statement why he and his family were not paid even minimal courtesy by the Clinton Administration as required by the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990, which provides that a "responsible official" was to give him notice at the earliest possible date of the release from custody of the Puerto Rican terrorists, and points out that he and his family in fact learned of the terrorists' impending release by reading the newspapers.

As Mr. Connor points out in his statement, "By offering this clemency, the President has endangered America. His action renders void the judgment of the juries and federal judges who imposed long prison sentences on these violent felons because they knew the facts and the terrorists' motives. His explanation of why this action was taken is not only weak, but insults the intelligence of the American people who obviously know that it was done for political purposes."

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