Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is asking Mitt Romney to support the release of an Israeli spy, reports the Daily Beast. Adelson is a major Romney backer. A Republican donor and several associates of both men told the Daily Beast that Adelson wants Romney to promise to release Jonathan Pollard, who is serving life in prison. Romney has rebuffed the request, according to the report.
From the Beast:
Romney has rejected the request so far, telling Adelson he would have to review the relevant intelligence material accessible to him as president before granting Pollard clemency, said the sources, who are relaying accounts of conversations from both Adelson and Romney. Romney “could not consider the Pollard situation because he doesn’t have access to the classified information,” one source said.
The Pollard case is important to the Jewish community, and Adelson is not the only person to ask Romney about his position on the issue, the Beast reports:
In recent years, a string of former and current national-security officials and politicians have come out in favor of granting clemency to Pollard in part because he is the only spy for an allied nation to receive a life sentence.
In December Romney was asked for his view of Pollard at a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. According to Malcolm Hoenlein, the group’s CEO, “He did not say what people wanted to hear. Instead he gave a more nuanced response and pointed to the fact that when he was governor of Massachusetts, he did not review decisions of the court unless there was judicial misconduct. When some in the audience raised information about the disproportionate sentence and some of the allegations of judicial misconduct in the Pollard case, Romney said he would review the facts when he was president.”