Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday she “regrets” discussions on whether the surviving Boston bombing suspect should be interrogated as a potential enemy combatant.
The California Democrat told “Fox News Sunday” the Obama administration’s High Value Interrogation Group will interview suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he will be read his Miranda rights at a later date and federal courts, not a military commission, can handle the case.
"I really regret all of this discussion, which is creating a conflict that need not be there,” she said. “The administration is ready. … I don’t think all of this is very helpful.”
Two bombs placed Monday near the Boston Marathon finish line killed three people and injured 176 others.
The first suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed early Friday morning in a police shootout. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured by police that night.
Rep. Peter King, among the first to call for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be handled as a potential enemy combatant, on Sunday stood by his position. But he agreed with Feinstein that the suspect could be tried and convicted in federal court.
“He’s going to be convicted,” King, R-N.Y., told Fox. “I’m not worried about a conviction. I want the intelligence.”
Right now, the suspect remains in stable condition at a Boston hospital and has yet to be interviewed by the FBI team. His Miranda rights will be suspended for 48 hours under the public safety exception.
However, trying Tsarnaev under the combatant status extends the time and would deny him a government-appointed lawyer.
King also was critical of the FBI, questioning why agents didn’t follow up on Tamerlan Tsarnaev after interviewed him in 2011, based on a tip from Russian authorities about his possible extremist views. Tsarnaev later made a six-month overseas trip, primarily to Russia.
“Why didn’t the FBI go back and look at this,” King said. “This is at least the fifth case I’m aware of.”