April 21st, 2013

Sens. Cowan, Schumer, Graham and Rep. McCaul discuss Boston bombings on State of the Union

Today on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, the following guests joined the program to discuss the Boston bombings and the resulting investigation: Massachusetts Senator William “Mo” Cowan; House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul; and Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Chuck Schumer of New York. Highlights are below and a full transcript of the program may be found here.

Sen. Cowan on the Boston bombings investigation:
“As to whether or not there may be others involved, as I understand it, we don’t think there may be others at this point. But the investigators as they should are continuing to look into the matter.”

Rep. McCaul on the six months Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent in Russia in January 2012:
“Clearly, something happened in my judgment in that six-month timeframe. He radicalized at some point in time. Where was that and how did that happen? I’m very concerned. That six months is very important… I personally believe that this man received training when he was over there and he radicalized from 2010 to the present. And then, nine months after he comes back from the Chechnya region, he pulls off the largest terror attack since 9/11.”

On Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s prior interview with the FBI:
Sen. Schumer: “While the FBI’s done a very good job over the last ten years, I certainly think there are questions that have to be answered.”
Sen. Graham: “I don’t know if our laws are insufficient or the FBI failed, but we’re at war with radical Islamists and we need to up our game.”

On “enemy combatant” status:
Sen. Graham: “When the public safety exception expires and it will here soon, this man in my view should be designated as a potential enemy combatant and we should be allowed to question him for intelligence gathering purposes”
Sen. Schumer: “I don’t think we have to cross the line and say he should be an enemy combatant which could be challenged in court.”

On the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:
Sen. Schumer: “Given the facts that I’ve seen it would be appropriate to use the death penalty in this case and I would hope they would apply it in federal court.”
Sen. Cowan: “I am not personally a proponent of the death penalty. I think that — but I’ll leave it to Attorney General Holder to decide ultimately what needs to be done here. And I’ll support that.”