Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NYC Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, First GOP House Rep. to call for Pollard's clemency

(JTA) -- Rep. Michael Grimm became the first Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives to back the latest push for clemency for Jonathan Pollard.

Grimm, a freshman from Staten Island, N.Y., says in a YouTube clip posted Tuesday by a supporter of the convicted spy for Israel that he visited Pollard at his North Carolina prison two weeks ago.

"As a former FBI agent, someone who has fought for justice most of my life, we have to acknowledge that the penalty does not necessarily meet the crime and most would say that it's excessive, I am working with many others in Washington, we are doing what we can to have justice prevail, and justice in the case is to have Jonathan Pollard released from prison."
The most recent push for clemency has garnered substantive support among congressional Democrats, and a range of former officials of both Republican and Democratic administrations, but a major stumbling block is believed to be the reluctance of sitting GOP lawmakers -- heeding a hard-line national security base -- to endorse clemency.