Speaker (to be) Boehner predicted the other day that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will not be tried in New York City. It seems increasingly likely that he’s right, as Democrats grow more and more fearful of the political and security ramifications of these proceedings. With Schumer and Gillibrand now saying that they’re open to a different venue, and the White House no longer willing to stand by Eric Holder on this, it sounds as if Democrats are just trying how to backtrack on this without looking like flip-floppers… again:
New York’s senators are open to moving the trial of a 9/11 mastermind out of Manhattan after Mayor Bloomberg said he’d happily see the terror thug take the stand elsewhere.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is slated to be tried at 500 Pearl St. in lower Manhattan, a proceeding Bloomberg says could cost $1 billion if the trial lasts four years.
“It’s going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people,” he said in Brooklyn yesterday. “Can we provide security? Yes. Could you provide security elsewhere? Yeah.”
The mayor said holding the trial at a military base makes sense. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand say they’re receptive to alternative sites.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn) wrote Attorney General Eric Holder to say the trial would harm businesses.
The White House has gone to great lengths to stress the independence of the Department of Justice, and to assert that Eric Holder made the decision to try KSM in New York on his own – without direction from Obama. Is the White House going to override Holder, or is the Attorney General going to have a completely independent change of heart?
One or the other seems certain.