Rep. Wolf on Bill to Stop 9/11 Trials in NYC

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," February 2, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: If you can’t beat them, redirect them — a new bill introduced today that would block all funds needed to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 terror suspects in a civilian court. Republican Congressman Frank Wolf is the lawmakers trying to make that happen. So, Congressman, this is a way to make sure that maybe you dry up the funding for this sort of thing, right?

REP. FRANK WOLF R-VA.: Well, it is. I think there’s good reason for doing it.

One, I think it would endanger New York City or any area where this were the case. Secondly, the costs were going to be roughly $250 million a year. He will be — wherever he goes, if it’s a civilian trial, for four or five years. Moussaoui was in Alexandria for four years. That will take it to a billion dollars.


WOLF: The city was asking for $215 million. The Marshals service was going to buy 17 new cars. They were going buy a new airplane.

Thirdly, you were going to treat Khalid Sheikh Mohammed better than you would treat a young man or woman who serves in the military who does something wrong. They go through a military court.

And, lastly, you are going to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed four years of a platform to spew hate. And, keep in mind, he beheaded Daniel Pearl and was the mastermind — and he has already acknowledged both — was the mastermind of resulting in killing almost 3,000 people on 9/11.

CAVUTO: Obviously, you’ve created some buzz with us. You have got 30- some-odd congressmen to sign on to this, including a couple of Democrats. Did they tell you even privately, Congressman, that they — they would hope that the president just rethinks the whole Gitmo shutdown thing and that this — this whole burden could be lifted off of them, period?

WOLF: I — I don’t hear from the administration to that effect. I think Eric Holder is committed to trying these in civilian court.

CAVUTO: Oh, that, I know. That, I know, sir. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear.

But many of the people signing on to this, particularly those Democrats who did, and maybe others who are contemplating, do they tell you, look, we could get this monkey off our back if we just did that, just that?

WOLF: No, they haven’t said that.

I think most members would not want to see him tried in New York City or in Washington in a civilian court. Everyone knows what he’s done. Keep in mind, he has pled guilty, and now he’s withdrawn that.

So, I think they sincerely think this would be a bad idea. Nobody said this takes it off the table. I think it’s really not a political issue.

CAVUTO: Right.

WOLF: I think that Eric Holder has put the administration in a pretty tough spot. I do believe this will pass in Congress. And I think the best thing would be to try them on a military court.

I personally believe better in Guantanamo Bay, but, under this, they could try him on a military base in a remote area before a military court.

CAVUTO: All right. Congressman, thank you very much.

WOLF: Thank you, sir.

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