Holder: KSM Trial Location – Nothing is off the table

By Evan Harris

May 9, 2010 10:05am

Attorney General Eric Holder told me that “nothing is really off the table” as the Justice Department continues to look for a location to hold the trial of accused 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  “We are working to see exactly where the trial will be held.”

Asked whether White House involvement in the decision had politicized the process, Holder said, “I don't think the decision has been politicized at all.  This is a national security matter, and I think it's appropriate for the president to be involved in that decision.”

TAPPER:  OK.  Last fall, you announced that the trial of the century
against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 plotters would take place
in New York City, but it seems to me that that's walked back by the
White House.  Here is what you had to say about the president's response
to your announcement of the trial last fall to PBS.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    HOLDER:  He has a personal belief that the president is supposed to
be hands off with his Justice Department, and those things that are the
province of the attorney general, all he needs to be is informed.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    TAPPER:  This doesn't seem to be the case any longer.  Are you
disappointed that the White House seems to be politicizing the decisions
you make about the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

    HOLDER:  I don't think the decision has been politicized at all. 
This is a national security matter, and I think it's appropriate for the
president to be involved in that decision.  We are working to see
exactly where the trial will be held.  Nothing is really off the table
at this point.  We are trying to come up with a place where these people
can be brought to justice as quickly as we can, taking into
consideration a variety of things that we have to consider.  And I think
in that regard, the involvement of the president, given the fact that it
is a national security matter, as opposed to something else the Justice
Department might be doing, his involvement I think is appropriate.

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