WH: Tsarnaev to Be Tried as Domestic Criminal, Not Enemy Combatant
This is an update to our previous story on how the Obama administration could keep Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant for a short time until they confirm he was not working as a foreign terrorist agent who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship, then transfer him to the civilian criminal-justice system.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced the Obama administration will charge Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with federal felonies in the civilian U.S. court system.
The White House said federal law does not permit sending a U.S. citizen to a military tribunal and expressed confidence that the U.S. Justice Department can secure criminal convictions against Tsarnaev.
The White House did not comment on why Tsarnaev could not be held for a short period of time as an enemy combatant for information-gathering purposes to determine if he is part of a foreign-directed terrorist cell, then transfer him to the civilian system later for prosecution.
Since the White House is accepting Tsarnaev as an American citizen—a citizenship he obtained on Sept. 11, 2012, of all dates—if he was working with or for any affiliate of al Qaeda, he could also be charged with treason. There is no word on whether such a charge is being considered.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is a fellow with the American Civil Rights Union.