In a joint statement issued as a press releaseon April 19, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) stated that “The least of our worries is a criminal trial” and that "Under the Law of War we can hold this suspect [Dzhokhar Tsarnaev] as a potential enemy combatant not entitled to Miranda warnings or the appointment of counsel.”
A second press release issued the following day by Graham’s office in the names of Senators Graham, McCain, and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) pursued the same theme, stating, in part:
• “The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.”
• “The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent.”
• “A decision to not read Miranda rights to the suspect was sound and in our national security interests.”
• “The public safety exception is a domestic criminal law doctrine that allows questioning of a criminal suspect without Miranda warnings for a limited time and purpose.”
• “We hope the Obama Administration will consider the enemy combatant option because it is allowed by national security statutes and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.”
• “American citizens who take up arms against our nation or collaborate with our enemies have been held as enemy combatants. This is well-established principle of American jurisprudence and authorized by congressional statute.”
• “An enemy combatant held under the Law of War is not entitled to Miranda rights or appointment of counsel.
• “We will stand behind the Administration if they decide to hold this suspect as an enemy combatant.”
"I strongly disagree with the Obama administration's decision to rule out the enemy combatant status for the suspect at this time. I believe such a decision is premature. It is impossible for us to gather the evidence in just a few days to determine whether or not this individual should be held for questioning under the law of war," Graham told reporters April 22 during a press conference at the Capitol.
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Photo of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): AP Images