May 12, 1998


                           THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                             May 12, 1998     

                         The Briefing Room   			     

11:00 A.M. EDT

	     MR. RUBIN:  Good morning.  This is going to be a 
briefing on the President's International Crime Control Strategy.  
The speaker will be Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder.  Also with 
him is Assistant Secretary of the Treasury James Johnson; Deputy 
Assistant Attorney General Mark Richard; Deputy Assistant Secretary 
of State Jonathan Wiener and NSC Director for global issues, Fred 
Rosa.  Thank you.
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Good morning.  Today, 
the President announced the release of the United States' first-ever
international crime control strategy.  The strategy is a blueprint 
for the United States law enforcement community and our foreign law 
enforcement partners in the fight against the growing threat of 
international crime.
	     The strategy will have a direct and positive effect on 
our job -- protecting Americans from criminals, both foreign and 
domestic.  It's important to keep in mind that this strategy is not 
about a distant threat.  Every day, United States cities and 
communities are impacted by international crime, whether in the form 
of drug-related violence, terrorist attacks, or financial scams that 
target our elderly citizens.
	     The growth in international crime is fueled in large 
part to changes that are fostering economic and political 
opportunities, improved computer and telecommunications technology, 
easier movement across national borders and the globalization of 
trade.  The facts speak for themselves, and I'd like to share some 
facts with you.
	     Most of the illicit drugs consumed in this country, 
worth tens of billions of dollars, are grown elsewhere and are 
brought here by foreign organized crime groups.  Two-thirds of all 
counterfeit currency detected in the United States is created abroad.  
About 200,000 of the cars stolen in the United States each year, 
worth over $1 billion, are taken across our land and sea borders.  
Economic espionage against U.S. businesses, often involving foreign 
competitors, is increasing.
	     Computer crime and attacks on our critical 
infrastructures are up with the method used increasingly, using the 
Internet.  And Americans continue to be the targets of choice for 
terrorist groups and kidnappers.

	     These are the clear and present threats we in the law 
enforcement community are addressing every day.  This strategy 
responds aggressively and forcefully to this threat.  The strategy is 
an innovative action plan that will serve as a road map for a 

coordinated, long-term attack on international crime.  And let me 
stress that this strategy is the product of an outstanding 
inter-agency effort to identify the most serious forms of 
international criminal activity and to reduce their overall impact on 
	     Can we do more?  Of course we can.  And the strategy 
sets the course for our future efforts as well.  As the President 
said today, we cannot win the battle without the continued 
cooperation of our international partners.  But there are certainly 
things that we can do that are well within our own control.  We are 
already devoting additional resources to the fight against 
international crime.  We are expanding our overseas law enforcement 
presence, we are increasing the resources devoted to interdiction 
along our borders.  We have created, in February, a national 
infrastructure protection center, headquartered at the FBI, to 
counter attacks on our critical infrastructures.
	     Another thing we can do is to give law enforcement -- 
federal, state and local -- the additional tools they need in the 
fight against international criminals -- and the International Crime 
Control Act is a good start.  It would allow for the prosecution here 
in the United States of organized criminals who victimize Americans 
abroad and of criminals who commit financial crimes abroad affecting 
U.S.-based financial institutions.  
	     It would make it easier for our immigration officials do 
deny entry to suspected narcotics-traffickers and alien-smugglers.  
The bill will provide new tools to combat contraband smuggling across 
our borders in both directions, including enhanced border search 
authority and a new felony that would apply to smugglers who try to 
evade border inspections by speeding through border checkpoints and 
endangering law enforcement and civilians.  It would make -- that is, 
the bill -- will make it easier to transfer to the United States 
defendants and evidence, including witnesses, so we could prosecute 
crimes committed here in the United States even when the case has 
international ties that complicate prosecution.  And the bill will 
also provide new authority to investigate computer crime.
	     We know what the problem is, we know what our job is, 
and we have a strategy to get us where we want to go.  Now, we must 
move forward in the same cooperative spirit that helped forge the 
strategy and continue our work toward a better, safer world in which 
Americans and our friends and allies abroad can prosper in peace.
	     Thank you, and we would be glad to respond to any 
questions that you might have.
	     Q	  Are all your computers being brought up to date to 
not have any problem in the year 2000?
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, that's certainly 
an administration-wide effort.  I can say that the Justice Department 
is on track with regard to that effort, and it is something that is 
constantly monitored.  The President has made a special effort, the 
administration has made a special effort so that when we get to the 
year 2000 all the government's computers will be able to make the 
appropriate transition.
	     Q	  The legislation that you're describing that would 
make it easier to prosecute criminals who I guess would be overseas, 
wouldn't that also require some cooperation from other countries?  
Or, can you go into a little bit more about what the problems are?
	     ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  Thank you.  That's a very 
good question.  We have a variety of methods and techniques to 
facilitate acquisition of defendants and facilitation of prosecution 
in the U.S.  What the bill will do will enable us to obtain prisoners 
who have been found extraditable, for example, who are sitting in 
foreign countries awaiting termination of their sentence before 
coming here.  
	     The bill, if enacted, will enable us to work with other 
countries to, in effect, borrow the body for purposes of prosecution 
in the U.S. and on condition that they be returned for completion of 
their sentence abroad after the completion of our prosecution.
	     Q	  Is that currently barred by U.S. law?
	     ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  It's not barred, but it 
requires a special article in a given treaty, and rather than have it 
solely dictated by treaties -- and we have over 100 treaties -- this 
statutory authority would enable us to do that absent a treaty 
	     Q	  Deputy Attorney General Holder, there are seven or 
eight new proposals in this package; how many require new legislation 
and how much money are you going to ask to implement them?
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  I'm not sure how many 
just off the top of my head would require new legislation.  With 
regard to money, there is not really the need for new money.  There 
is, contained in the budget request that we have made, and 
specifically with regard to the Justice Department's budget, the 
necessary funds to support the effort that the President has 
announced today.
	     Q	  Mr. Holder, in response to the Herman independent 
counsel decision yesterday, the President said it was required by the 
act that the independent counsel be appointed.  What you know of the 
thinking behind this, was it that there were facts in the case that 
required it, or the statute is so strict that there wasn't much 
choice in terms of --
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  I really wouldn't want 
to get into that matter.  That will be something that is ongoing and 
I was recused from that matter as well.
	     Q	  But you had to know something about how the act 
itself acts.  Is the act so specific, maybe not referring to this 
case, that it's hard to avoid appointing an independent counsel in a 
case like this?
Department look at the act and apply it to the facts and the law -- 
the facts as we develop them, and the Attorney General makes those 
decisions on a case-by-case basis.
	     Q	  What new authority are you seeking to investigate 
computer crime?
	     ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  As you know, the wire-tap 
statute is applicable to specified offenses.  The proposed act would 
add computer crimes to those lists of authorized predicates, if you 
will, for acquiring wire-tapping authority.
	     That is only a portion of the total effort to deal with 
computer crime.  The Attorney General last year met with her 
counterparts in the G-7, P-8 setting and came up with an action plan 
for dealing on the international level with computer crime crossing 
the national boundaries.  And that is set forth in the strategy, I 
believe, articulating the plan and what additional steps that are 
being taken to respond to computer crimes.
	     Q	  Does anyone know why Mayor Barry was at the event 
this morning?

	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, I think one of 
the things you have to understand is that although this is an 
international crime bill, the things that we are attacking, or hope 
to attack, have a very profound effect on the average American.  And 
that's why I think the Mayor was here as well as members of the D.C. 
City Council.  
	     One of the things that you have to understand is that in 
terms of drug-trafficking, that obviously has an effect on a 
day-to-day basis on the lives of average Americans.  The number of 
cars that are stolen every year obviously has an effect on our 
insurance rates, among other things; and that is why there were local 
representatives here as well as members of law enforcement.
	     Q	  Will all these ideas be new to the people at the 
G-8, G-7, whatever it is?
from the State Department.  No, as a matter of fact, we've been 
discussing most of these ideas within the context of the Eight over 
the last several years.  At the Halifax Summit in Canada some three 
years ago, the heads of government decided that there were 
potentially substantial gaps in our international efforts to combat 
serious transnational organized crime and asked us all to start 
looking at it -- representatives of State and Justice and Treasury 
and all of the law enforcement agencies have been working with their 
counterparts in the three years since then.  
	     And the crime summit that's taking place in Birmingham 
follows a Lyon summit two years ago where 40 recommendations were 
adopted by the Eight to combat crime and the Denver summit, where 
some specific commitments were made to start looking at illicit 
firearms smuggling, border control and smuggling in people, the need 
for an international convention to combat transnational organized 
crime and further steps to take against high-tech crime.  And, in 
fact, I think the Eight will be announcing a series of commitments in 
that connection following on the commitments made in Denver last 
year.  So this is very much complimentary to the work we're doing 
	     And, in fact, as the President and Vice President both 
made very clear, these strategies cannot work in isolation.  No 
country -- not even the United States -- can protect itself solely 
through domestic means.  International cooperation is absolutely 
required to deal with the transnational phenomena.  There's no 
	     Q	  Are there any countries that are refusing to 
	     ASSISTANT SECRETARY WEINER:  In fact, what we are 
building right now is literally a global network of international 
cooperation.  And if you talk about the countries where there is 
substantial international trade, there is also substantial 
international cooperation on law enforcement.
	     ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  I wonder if I could just 
point out that the International Crime Control Act that will be 
submitted has significant impact on state and local authorities as 
well, because they are impacted.  It's not just a federal problem, as 
the Deputy indicated.  This is a problem that reaches out to all 
levels of government and various provisions of the act specifically 
impact on state and local capabilities, including the ability to 
acquire fugitives from state and local cases as well as providing a 
mechanism in order to supplement on a budgetary basis their ability 
to fund extradition, mutual legal assistance requests abroad.
	     So it is a bill that contains a variety of provisions 
that impact significantly, we think, on the ability of state and 
local officials to respond to this problem.
	     Q	  Will the new bill include new measures against 
drug-trafficking and terrorism?  Could you be more specific about it 
for those?
	     ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  There are a variety of 
provisions that will impact on all types of crimes, all serious 
crimes, including drugs and terrorism.  Our provisions for dealing 
with the extradition, for forfeiture, for dealing with the border 
protection -- all of these impact on a variety of offenses, including 
terrorism, drug-trafficking, as well as arms-smuggling and the like.  
So they're not necessarily just directed at terrorism or drugs, 
although specific provisions are in that category.  But many of the 
provisions will be applicable to a whole range of crimes, including 
terrorism and drug-trafficking.
	     Q	  You had said -- when I asked you about the 
appointment of the independent counsel -- I'm sorry -- but you had 
said that you would look at the facts and apply the law.  Was there a 
difference of opinion in the Justice Department whether, even under 
the law, the independent counsel is necessary?  The Attorney General 
took until the very last moment.  And also, is the law written in 
such a way that the independent counsel is -- often have to be sought 
-- I mean, as a former prosecutor looking at the case on the facts, 
would you without the independent counsel statute have gone forward 
in a prosecution, say, for instance?
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, again, I don't 
want to comment too much on that matter other than to say -- I mean, 
there is always, within the Department of Justice, a free exchange of 
ideas and thoughts about a whole variety of matters, among them the 
independent counsel matters, that we have to consider.  
	     Then again, we just look at the facts as we develop 
them, look at the law as it has been given to us by Congress and then 
make the appropriate decision.  
	     One of the things I'd like to just maybe amplify to give 
you some statistics -- before, people had asked me about why were 
some local representatives here.  If you look at some of the 
international problems that, as I said, have a local effect, you will 
see that in 1997, $50 billion -- Americans spent more than $50 
billion on cocaine and heroin, all of which originated obviously from 
abroad; 123 terrorist attacks against U.S. targets worldwide; $1 
billion worth of stolen cars taken from the United States.  United 
States companies lost up to $23 billion from the illegal duplication 
and piracy of films, compact disks, computer software and other 
	     So you can see that at that level, this has a very 
dramatic effect on, as I said, average Americans.
	     Q	  Can you tell us where the money is coming from to 
implement this and how much will it be?
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  The money is contained 
in the budget requests that have been submitted to Congress for 
Fiscal Year 1999. 
	     Q	  And how much will that be?
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, it's embedded 
money.  I guess at least at the Justice Department we have about $280 
million I think that has been allotted for this.
	     Q	  Why did you have to recuse yourself from the Herman 
	     Q	  Personal friend?  
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Yes, I've known Alexis 
for a number of years.  My wife's family has been very close with her 
for a good number of years.  She spoke at my installation as Deputy 
Attorney General.
	     Q	  Mr. Holder, back on the Herman issue.  The question 
of race was brought up yesterday to Mike McCurry, and what are the 
thoughts about the fact that many minorities in the administration 
have been probed by the Justice Department?  Is there a possibility 
that race is playing a part in some of these investigations?
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  We get allegations, we 
examine those allegations.  The conduct is always examined in a 
race-neutral way.  The decisions that are made by the Attorney 
General are made in a race-neutral way.  Anybody who would look at 
the record of this Attorney General and the way in which she has 
conducted herself not only in Washington but in Florida, I think 
would be hard-pressed to say that anything that she has ever done is 
done for racial purposes.
	     Q	  Just a question generically on the independent 
counsel law.  Do you feel that it does trigger -- that there is a 
presumption in favor of appointing an independent counsel the way the 
law is written now?
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Don't you guys want to 
talk about international crime?  (Laughter.)  I think we 
obviously -- the act expires in the middle of next year, I guess June 
of 1999 and I think there are certain parts of the act that we need 
to look at and see whether or not they need to be redone.
	     Q	  Like what?  (Laughter.)
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  International crime.  
International crime.  
	     Q	  Mr. Holder, do you think it will be renewed next 
	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  International crime?  
	     Q	  No, sir, independent counsel --
	     Q	  Mr. Holder, what about --
	     MR. RUBIN:  If there are no more questions on 
international crime, I think we'll wrap it up.
	     Q	  What would you say to Microsoft who continues to 
say that the government intervention would stop them from developing 
new technology on the Internet?
Department's enforcement efforts with regard to Microsoft have all 
been designed to give the American people choice when it comes to the 
computer products that they would select.  We have no intention, no 
desire to in any way inhibit the growth of that very important 
industry to the nation generally, or to the efforts of Microsoft to 
grow and to prosper specifically.
	     Q	  And when is the Justice Department going to 
announce its steps against Microsoft?

	     DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  I would not say that we 
can anticipate that the Justice Department is going to do anything 
against Microsoft.  We are pretty close to making a decision as to 
what we will do, if anything, in that regard, though.
	     MR. RUBIN:  Okay, thank you very much.  I'd like to 
thank our guests for coming. 
             END                          11:22 A.M. EDT