REGULAR MEDIA AVAILABILITY WITH
JANET RENO U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DECEMBER 14, 2000 9:30 A.M. EST THURSDAY
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Q -- an issue, or is that something the Justice Department would review as well?
ATTY. GEN. RENO: I won't comment on what steps are being taken, other than to say that we are reviewing all of the allegations we've received.
Q Ms. Reno, tomorrow, for the first time -- to my knowledge, anyway; I may be mistaken on this -- FBI personnel are expected to rally to protest the consideration of clemency for Leonard Peltier.
I know you cannot tell us your recommendation to the White House.
I know it's already gone.
But have you talked personally to the president about the clemency issue on Peltier, or do you plan to talk personally to the president about the clemency issue?
ATTY. GEN. RENO: As I've indicated, I think it's inappropriate to discuss what I say to the president.
Q I'm not asking for the details.
I'm just saying, have you talked personally, or will you talk personally to the president?
ATTY. GEN. RENO: I don't think I should comment.
Q Well, what do you think of the fact that the FBI personnel -- are -- (off mike) -- to take their case so directly to the White House? Do you have any problem just -- (off mike)?
ATTY. GEN. RENO: I think we just have to see how it unfolds.
Q What would you be looking for in terms of seeing how it unfolds? What are the issues that you're going to look for?
ATTY. GEN. RENO: I think people have the -- everybody ought to be able to speak out about something that they care about deeply in a thoughtful, professional, dignified manner.
Q Madame Attorney General, this week you stepped in to block the release of Mr. Mel Adnajar (sp), who was scheduled to be released on bond.
And without commenting on his case specifically, that Larry Parkinson testified back in May that the Justice Department was drawing up guidelines on the use of secret evidence.
Can you tell us at what point you are in the drawing up of the guidelines?
ATTY GEN. RENO: I will ask Myron to give you the latest situation with respect to the guidelines.
Q Does it trouble you at all that there's an appearance that the Justice Department is using the secret evidence ad hoc, without drawing up guidelines beforehand, similarly to the federal death penalty, where the government was already using the federal death penalty or charging people under that without having guidelines in place?
ATTY GEN. RENO: It troubles me any time somebody has concerns about the propriety of actions taken.
And anything that we can do to explain those actions, we try to do so. But where they're relating to pending matters and classified evidence, it becomes somewhat difficult.
We hope that these guidelines will provide a proper procedure.
Q Is it true, as Larry Parkinson testified, that you personally review every case where secret evidence is used?
ATTY GEN. RENO: Either I myself or the deputy.
Q Had you already reviewed Mr. Mel Adnajar's (sp) case before this week?
ATTY GEN. RENO: I have reviewed parts of it. I am reviewing others now.
Q Ms. Reno, a number of people from Oklahoma City, responding to Mr. McVeigh's affidavit earlier this week, have expressed a desire to witness the execution of him, and he -- a number of them have asked for special consideration to witness that.
Have any of those requests been filed with you, or is there any action --
ATTY GEN. RENO: I am not aware of the request.
Q Ms. Reno, on the Wen Ho Lee matter, with developments -- the landfill discovery this week, are you -- do you think you've moved closer to satisfying yourself as to what happened to the tapes and that, you know, you can answer some of the questions that were still lingering?
ATTY GEN. RENO: I don't think we're in a position to comment yet.
Thank you very much.
Q Thank you, Ms. Reno.