Friday, April 26, 2013
Republican outrage is rising over the decision to read teenage Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights just as he was beginning to open up about the blast that killed three and injured about 270 people.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said it was “ridiculous” that a judge stopped the questioning while the 19-year-old was talking to FBI agents.
And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers called the decision to intervene a “God-awful policy.”
Lawmakers are demanding to know why Tsarnaev, who has confessed to being involved in the planting of two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line, was read his Miranda rights in the middle of his interrogation.
“That’s just mind-boggling,” Giuliani said in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
“This guy is kind of telling you about how he’s coming to New York and do a bombing, a judge walks in and we cut off the questioning?” Giuliani said. “What are we, crazy?”
Tsarnaev had been under interrogation for about 16 hours in his hospital room before a magistrate and representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office entered the room and read him his Miranda rights. He then stopped talking, according to sources briefed on the interrogation.
Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, said rules need to be loosened for law-enforcement officials who are conducting terror probes.
“One of the FBI agents said he thought it would be illegal to keep the guy on the list. Of course, there’d be nothing illegal about it,” said Giuliani, who was mayor of the Big Apple at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“Some of the explanations that I’m getting make me very nervous that the FBI is erring on the side of caution, when I want them to err on the side of safety.”
Giuliani also criticized the administration of Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick for refusing to release records of welfare payments the Boston terror bombings may have received, saying it was essential information in determining how they financed their activities.
“What possible privacy interest do you have in that?” he asked. “They either got welfare or they didn’t get welfare. And that would also be important to how were they financed.
“I’d like to know how much they were getting in welfare. A trip to Russia for six months is a pretty darn expensive proposition. I’ve wondered, was anybody financing them?”
While federal law-enforcement officials can subpoena the records for their ongoing investigation, Giuliani said the only reason Massachusetts is keeping the records private is to avoid embarrassment.
“I can’t figure out what the heck the privacy interest is, except maybe an embarrassment that by mistake, Massachusetts was giving welfare to potential terrorists,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rogers said he will be demanding answers from Attorney General Eric Holder about the decision to Mirandize the baby-face bomb suspect.
“We can’t have, in a case like this, the judiciary deciding, because it’s on TV and it might look bad for them … that they were going to somehow intercede in this,” the Michigan Republican told MSNBC.
“It’s confusing, it is horrible, [a] God-awful policy, and dangerous to the greater community,” said Rogers. “We have got to get to the bottom of this, and we’ve got to fix it right now.”
He said the Justice Department has “a lot of explaining to do.”
According to the Department of Justice, prosecutors, the federal defender, a court reporter, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the hospital all coordinated in having Tsarnaev read his rights.
Before that happened, the University of Massachusetts sophomore had reportedly told authorities that his brother, Tamerlan, 26, had only recently recruited him to be part of a plot to detonate pressure-cooker bombs at the marathon's finish line and that they planned to go on to detonate more bombs in New York City.
Tamerlan was killed in a police shootout on Friday last week.
Lawmakers have long disagreed over whether to read terrorism suspects their rights after they are captured in the United States. Some prominent Republican lawmakers have called for Tsarnaev to be considered an enemy combatant, but the Obama administration opted to try him in civilian criminal court proceedings instead.
The Supreme Court created a public safety exemption to the Miranda warning almost 30 years ago, meaning suspects can be interrogated if the public could be in danger, but Rogers said he still wants to know why the FBI's interrogation was interrupted.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said he favors asking a suspect questions about who else may have been involved in a terror plot, whether there are future attacks in the works, or if other weapons have been discovered.
Most courts will not admit statements made before suspects are officially made aware of their rights, and if cases are to be tried in a civilian, rather than military court, a suspect must be read the warning.
Even some Democrats have questioned the decision. Rep. Adam Schiff of California said, “I would have thought the public safety exception would have allowed more time for the questioning of the suspect prior to the arraignment and/or advising of rights.”
The issue has come up in other cases, including in 2010, when Holder ordered “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to be read his rights. He eventually was sentenced to life in prison.
Tsarnaev has been moved to a prison hospital at Fort Devens, Mass., the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday. He continues to recover from numerous gunshot wounds. The federal prison where he is housed specializes in inmates who need long-term medical or mental health care, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
Check out Gateway Pundit's take on this judge. Apparently she has muslim ties. *ht Will