Armey, Burton Criticize Clinton's FALN Clemency

By Bruce Sullivan | July 7, 2008 | 8:24 PM EDT

( - House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas and fellow Republican Representative Dan Burton of Indiana were harshly critical of President Clinton's offer of conditional clemency to 16 members of the Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN involved in bomb attacks during the 1970's and 1980's. Both Armey and Burton said that the President 's decision may be politically motivated by his wife's possible US Senate run in New York, where there is a large Puerto Rican population.

"There is some indication it may be for political reasons," said Burton on NBC's Meet The Press.

"This president, from day one," said Armey on the same broadcast, "he's always put his own and his party's politics ahead of the nation's policies. It's been a terribly wasted presidency."

Armey said that the House may consider a resolution of disapproval to protest the President's clemency motion.

"We may be able to try that," said Armey. "Somebody will work on it. If somebody can get something together I'll be happy to consider scheduling it for the floor."

Appearing on the same show, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York defended Clinton saying that he didn't think the clemency offer was connected to Hillary Rodham Clinton's possible Senate run.

"I don't think that makes sense," said Schumer. "I don't think this was intended to help Hillary Clinton."

The 16 members of FALN offered clemency are expected to respond soon to the White House. They were reportedly not involved in bomb attacks that killed people.

From 1974 to 1983, FALN, a Spanish acronym for Armed Forces of National Liberation carried out 130 bomb attacks on civilian and military targets that killed six people and injured dozens.