Top Dems Visit Pollard In Prison

ABC News - December 30, 1999 - Eileen A. Murphy


- As first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to ponder her position on whether to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard, one of her closest advisers today visited the convicted spy in prison. New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who supports clemency for Pollard, led a small group of top Democrats from the state to the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C.

Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, has served 14 years of a life sentence after pleading guilty to passing U.S. military secrets to Israel in the 1980s.

As Mrs. Clinton runs for the Senate in New York, Jewish organizations a powerful factor in the state's Democratic politics have pressured her to support Pollard's release, saying his sentence was harsher than those given to others convicted of similar crimes.


[Justice4JP: Note the recycling of old Government lies in the following paragraph! See Facts Page for the truth.]

U.S. officials say Pollard's espionage was one of the most damaging in American history

[Lie! No hard evidence exists of any damage done by Pollard and this allegation has always been made only in the media, never in court!]

. Officials estimate he sold

[Lie! Pollard did not sell information. See Fact 6]

Israel enough documents and photographs to fill a room 10 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet

[Lie! This volume of information is absurd! See Facts 20 & 21].

Pollard, now 45, claimed he was trying to protect the Jewish state from its enemies.

After talking to Pollard for nearly four hours, Silver complained that the federal government is violating the terms of its plea agreement by keeping him in prison. "Pollard fulfilled his end of the plea agreement, cooperating fully with the prosecution," Silver said. "[But he] received a life sentence and a recommendation that he never be paroled

in complete violation of the plea agreement

he had reached with the government."

Accompanying Silver were Assembly Democrats Thomas DiNapoli of Nassau County, Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx and Helene Weinstein of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has organized large "Free Pollard" demonstrations outside Mrs. Clinton"s campaign headquarters in New York, said these latest visits were part of an ongoing effort. In the next few months, Hikind says, just about every New York Democrat will be going to visit Pollard, increasing the pressure on Mrs. Clinton to take a stand.

But sources say Hikind has promised Mrs. Clinton's campaign that he would halt the protests for two months to give her some time to decide.

[Not true! This is simply an oblique hint to Hikind to lay off!]


After the trip, Silver said that he found Pollard to be extremely intelligent, articulate and very knowledgeable about New York politics for someone who grew up in Texas. Pollard says he is following the New York Senate race closely but has no political opinion of Mrs. Clinton.

The Clinton administration has been reviewing Israel's request that Pollard be released since October 1998, when the issue nearly derailed peace talks at Wye River, Md.

[See Netanyahu Reveals Clinton Double-Cross On Pollard Release.]

President Clinton directed the White House counsel's office to collect recommendations from the CIA, the FBI, the Justice Department and other agencies about possible clemency.

Mrs. Clinton has taken no position on Pollard's case and is said to be awaiting the outcome of a high-level federal review.

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has said he supports Pollard's release. Silver said that he advised Mrs. Clinton that he would be making the trip and added that she asked him to give her a briefing after the visit. "Clearly she hasn't made up her mind," Silver said.


Clarifications above [in italics in square brackets] added by Justice for Jonathan Pollard.

See Also:

  • Delegation of Democrats Visits Pollard in Prison: NY Times
  • Speaker Silver Leads Dems to Visit Pollard