House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and former FBI agent, complained that a federal magistrate had possibly stopped the FBI from gaining valuable intelligence by stepping in to advise the suspect of his legal rights.
Updated 4:07 PM
The Justice Department released a statement on the timing of suspected Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev being read his Miranda rights, saying that the court “scheduled an initial appearance for Monday, which it then coordinated with the prosecutors, federal defender, court reporter, U.S. Marshal Service and the hospital.”
The statement continues to say that the court is required to advise the defendant of his Miranda rights during the initial appearance. ”The prosecutors and FBI agents in Boston were advised of the scheduled initial appearance in advance of its occurrence,” the statement reads.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers had suggested that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev received his Miranda rights too soon. Rogers, a Michigan Republican and former FBI agent, complained that a federal magistrate had possibly stopped the FBI from gaining valuable intelligence by stepping in to advise the suspect of his legal rights.
“We can’t have, in a case like this, the judiciary deciding because it’s on TV, and it might look bad for them, to allow the public safety exemption, which is deemed legal by the US supreme court, that they were somehow going to intercede in this,” he said on Andrea Mitchell Reports Thursday.
Rogers called the judicial intervention “confusing, horrible, god awful policy” and “dangerous to the greater community.”
Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old prime suspect in the twin bombings, was held without Miranda protections longer than any other terrorism suspect since the Obama administration began relying on the public safety exception that allows U.S. officials to question a suspect before reading them their rights to remain silent. Certain statements made by Tsarnaev before receiving his Miranda warning could be admissible in court under the public safety exception, but the issue will likely be subject to litigation in the future.
NBC Chief Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reported that the FBI high-value interrogation team had left “an hour before the judge got there” to mirandize Tsarnaev.
“This was not the magistrate walking in as the FBI [was] in the middle of interrogating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” Williams said on Andrea Mitchell.
Rogers acknowledged that the Department of Justice and judiciary had “made some arrangement” and he is seeking more details.
“To have the court affirmatively push their way in, is–A, I think it’s wrong and B, we should have given the FBI the time that they needed,” Rogers said. “They have a lot of explaining to do.”