Alex Witt   |  April 21, 2013

Charges against Boston suspect reportedly expected soon

NBC's Pete Williams explains where authorities may be in bringing charges against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> charges filed soon against suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev gentleman in the boston marathon bombings. let's g to pete williams for more on this. anything on the status on this, timing, or what will be charged?

>> i think the goal is to get the charges out today, but we can't completely rule out that it might not happen today. we thought we might get them yesterday, too. it's a matter of polishing the language, double checking it with all the authorities, and trying to make it as up to date as possible. they're getting kind of new investigative details into the criminal complaint is my understanding. we may or may not get it today. i don't think they know for sure at this point.

>> what about the investigation, from what you know of it, pete, is it only focusing on the two brothers at this point?

>> well, i think yes, but of course, they are very interested in talking to whoever they have been in touch with. i think the best way to put it is they've found no evidence that anyone else was cooperating with them or in any way involved in the boston marathon bombing. they're certainly exploiting all their e-mails, all of their cell phone calls, and the process of all of that has not come up with any associates or people that have thought to have conspired with them.

>> we've been talking about this period of time under which these high security interrogators could speak with the suspect without his being mirandized. apparently he can't communicate very well, at least verbally at this point. does that mean that this timeline gets pushed back, or does it have to close up, this window of opportunity, within like 48-plus hours?

>> well, i think that's actually a very good question. and i think it's fair to say the law isn't completely clear on this. let's us be clear on what we're talking about here. we're talking about the miranda warning . you have a right to remain silent. anything you say can be used against you. you have the right to a lawyer, all that stuff. what the united states government has decided to do is invoke an exception to that rule. which says that when there is a danger to public safety and you need to get answers quickly, you can get the answers without the miranda rights and still use that information in court. so when does the clock tick on that period of the public safety exception? the moment you make an arrest, the moment you begin an interrogation, what? i mean, i think the justice department will take the position that it begins the moment they begin talking to him. but i suppose his lawyers can certainly say that the time had elapsed so much since his arrest that it's hard to assert that exception. my guess is that there's no clear rule here in the federal government . this is kind of a legal rule that's developed from court cases . it's been extended to terrorism cases. and i think the justice department will take the view that they can question him for a while no matter when the questioning starts.

>> okay. our justice correspondent pete