By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)
- THE LATEST FROM BOSTON: Federal prosecutors say they are expected to file formal criminal charges, possibly today, against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that could lead to the death penalty, a decision being left to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, ABC’s KIRIT RADIA and PIERRE THOMAS report. Tsarnaev could possibly be slapped with a “weapon of mass destruction” charge, which carries a penalty of death. Authorities are using the public safety exemption that gives authorities the legal bases to question Tsarnaev without delivering Miranda rights. That’s because authorities believe there is imminent threat out there. Law enforcement sources say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was awake and responding sporadically in writing to questions Sunday night. They are asking about any possible cell members and other unexploded bombs. There have been no additional details yet on his answers. http://abcn.ws/12AWA8l
- BACKSTORY: New details emerged over the weekend about the dramatic capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after he managed to escape a gunfight with police in Watertown, Mass., that killed his older brother. As police and federal agents closed in after a Watertown resident reported there was a bloodied person hiding in his boat, a helicopter beamed back thermal images of the outline of Tsarnaev’s body. Police quickly surrounded the boat and there was a brief but ferocious volley of fire. Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau told ABC’s MARTHA RADDATZ that negotiators demanded Tsarnaev show his hands and lift his shirt. Authorities were worried Tsarnaev was wearing a suicide vest. He was not. “He was very slow and lethargic in every move that he made and they could see that there was no device on his chest,” Deveau said. “They kept creeping closer to him and then they felt it safe enough to pull him away from the boat.”
- DIANE SAWYER SITS DOWN WITH GEORGE AND LAURA BUSH: Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush will speak first to ABC’S DIANE SAWYER as they prepare for the opening and dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center this week. President Bush has kept a relatively low profile since leaving office in 2009 making few media appearances. The interview will air Wednesday on “World News” which Sawyer will anchor from the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The interview will also air later that night on “Nightline”. In addition, portions of the interview will be featured Thursday “Good Morning America,” ABCNews.com, Yahoo!, and ABC News Radio. Mrs. Bush will give Sawyer a guided tour of the Center, which will air Thursday evening on “World News.” The Bush Center will house the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library as well as the George W. Bush Institute. It will be dedicated on Thursday. http://www.bushcenter.org/
ABC’s RICK KLEIN: As shocking as Boston was, the political fallout so far has been utterly predictable. In what was supposed to be immigration’s big week, opponents of the “Gang of Eight” compromise said Boston is an argument for putting on the brakes; proponents said it’s why we need reform that includes better border security and tracking. The fact is, as a political matter, immigration reform lost precious momentum in last week’s noise. The question now is how that’s regained, even if the tale of these two brothers will be found to have has little to do with the nation’s immigration system. A new urgency around other priorities, combined with fresh arguments for delay, mean a new set of obstacles in a town that’s good at constructing them.
ABC’s TOM SHINE: Bill Daley wants his money back. He was President Clinton’s Commerce Secretary and President Obama’s Chief of Staff. And in a stunning, strongly-worded rebuke to some in his own party, he said, “I want my money back!” This is what he wrote in the Washington Post: “I don’t donate heavily to political campaigns. When I do contribute, it’s because I know the candidate well or am really impressed with the person. Heidi Heitkamp was one of the latter: She struck me as strong-willed, principled and an independent thinker. But last week, Heidi Heitkamp betrayed those hopes.” Daley says 94 percent of the people in North Dakota supported the background checks, yet “she had the gall” to say she was listening to the people of North Dakota when she voted “no.” Daley warned the three other senate Democrats, who voted against background checks, and are running for reelection next year, Mark Pryor, Max Baucus, and Mark Begich to stay out of Chicago, New York and L.A. when they go looking for money to “fuel their campaigns.” ”The Senate said no to us. Now it’s our turn,” he said.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
GOV. BREWER: FEDS NOT DOING ENOUGH TO SECURE ARIZONA’S BORDER. As the Senate moves to consider the “Gang of 8″ immigration reform bill, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is calling on the federal government to do more to secure her state’s border, which she refers to as “the gateway for the criminal element.” Brewer says the federal government has given increased security resources, ranging from electronic surveillance to fencing, to other border states, while ignoring such requests for Arizona. “We don’t understand why the federal government will do that for other states, but they refuse to do it in Arizona,” Brewer says in an interview with ABC’s JIM AVILA. “I am not going to sit back and be the governor of the state of Arizona and not make a position for Arizona to the federal government that our border needs to be secured. It’s as simple as that.” WATCH: http://yhoo.it/122QgWe
WHAT WE’RE READING
“ADVOCATES OF IMMIGRATION REFORM FIGHT BACK AGAINST PUSH FOR DELAY,” by the Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan and David Nakamura. “The Senate’s leading supporters of overhauling the nation’s immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes. ‘What happened in Boston and international terrorism I think should urge us to act quicker, not slower,’ said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a member of a bipartisan group of eight senators who last week introduced a bill that would rewrite U.S. immigration laws, including for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. … At the Senate Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on the immigration bill Friday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested that the Boston bombings should slow the pace of the reform effort, because learning the details about the immigration status of the suspects would raise new questions about current laws that should be addressed first. Other conservatives have also warned against rushing to act as the investigation unfolds. ‘I agree with Senator Grassley,’ Sen. Daniel Coats (R-Ind.) said on ABC News’s ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos.’ He warned, ‘You usually end up with bad policy if you do it in an emotional way or an emotional reaction.’” http://wapo.st/17GnkUv
BOSTON MAYOR: FEDS SHOULD ‘THROW THE BOOK’ AT TSARNAEV. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS that he hopes federal authorities “throw the book,” at bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which would include the possibility of execution. “I hope that the U.S. attorney takes him on the federal side and throws the book at him,” Menino said on “This Week.” “These two individuals held this city hostage for five whole days.” “They should not do that — that’s what these terrorist events want to do, hold the city hostage and stop the economy of the city.” Menino said he agreed with the decision to shut down the city Friday because of multiple events, including the discovery of a pipe bomb unrelated to the marathon attack. “At that time we found a pipe bomb at another location in our city of Boston,” he said. “Another individual was taken into custody.” Menino did not elaborate on the pipe bomb incident. http://abcn.ws/15Biqfc
MOTHER OF BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECT RECOUNTS FINAL CONVERSATION WITH SON. The mother of the Boston bombing suspects spoke to her eldest son minutes before a violent standoff with police in the streets of Watertown, Mass., according to ABC’s KIRIT RADIA and PIERRE THOMAS. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, called his mother early Friday morning, alerting her that police were following him and his younger brother and that there had been a shooting. “‘The police, they have started shooting at us, they are chasing us,’” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told ABC News in a telephone interview. The conversation ended when Tsarnaev said, “‘Mama, I love you,’” his mother said. Tsarnaeva got frightened and started to cry and shout. He told her Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was with him before the line cut off.
AT 1600 PENN: President Obama hosts the White House Science Fair today, honoring students from across the country, ABC’s MARY BRUCE notes. The annual tradition started in 2010. As the president noted then, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”
RICHARD HAASS: TERRORISM WILL NEVER BE ‘ERADICATED.’ In a roundtable appearance yesterday on “This Week,” Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “What’s scary about this is how relatively easy it is. And if these guys could go on the internet, use primitive devices to do something like this, they’re not the only ones who are going to do it. The attention they garnered is going to encourage copycat incidents — terrorism is never going to be eradicated, it’s like disease. And what we have to think about is yeah, we go after it, but how do we make ourselves more resilient? How do we protect ourselves, how do we get better at bouncing back?” More NOTABLE comments from “This Week”: http://abcn.ws/15w0eTX
DENNIS LEHANE PRAISES HEROIC REACTION TO BOSTON BOMBINGS. Speaking yesterday on ”This Week,” author and Boston native Dennis Lehane praised the response to the Boston Marathon bombings, calling it as one of the greatest “acts of heroism” he has ever seen, ABC’s BEN BELL notes. “I’ve been proud to be from Boston my whole life – I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud as I have been this week. The thing that will stick with me the rest of my life is, the plot of these brothers failed within two seconds of the first explosion. Because the objective of terror is to rattle a populous. It’s to make them paralyzed with fear,” he said. “And to see all of these civilians run toward the blast to help their fellow civilians, to help their fellow Bostonians, their fellow members of the human race was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was one of the great acts of heroism I’ve ever witnessed.” The iconic author of such books as ”Mystic River,” and “Gone, Baby, Gone,” praised the people of Boston as “tough and hearty” with a “pugnacious pride.” http://abcn.ws/XP6Wjg
IN THE NOTE’S INBOX
–DEMOCRATS OUTPACE REPUBLICANS ON SENATE FUNDRAISING. From a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aide: “The DSCC just completed the best first quarter in the history of the committee, raising $13.7 million over the last three months, $5.6 million of which came from grassroots donors in the mail, on the phones, and online. The DSCC raised more than $5.2 million in March and ended the month with $8.4 million on hand. ‘The cash advantage for Democratic candidates enabled us to hold our own against Republican third party spending in 2012,’ said Guy Cecil, Executive Director of the DSCC. ‘With our high number of incumbents, their lack of candidates early in the cycle and the likelihood that they will have several divisive primaries, we expect that advantage to grow. Just like we did in 2012, the DSCC will spend considerable time and resources helping candidates raise money because of the strategic advantage it brings.’ The DSCC outraised the NRSC by $6.9 million for the quarter. The DSCC outraised the NRSC by $2.1 million in March and more than twice as much in January and February.”
–CUCCINELLI CAMPAIGN CALLS ON MCAULIFFE TO RELEASE TAX RETURNS IN NEW VIDEO. Ken Cuccinelli’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign has released a new video putting more pressure on Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to release his tax returns. The video features cameos by President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and former President Bill Clinton all stressing tax transparency. Of course, in those clips from the 2012 election cycle, each of the Democrats was actually calling on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release additional years of tax returns. WATCH: http://bit.ly/YFBFwG
–JEB BUSH TO HEADLINE FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITION EVENT. “The Faith and Freedom Coalition today announces Jeb Bush, governor of Florida from 1999-2007, will address the Road to Majority Conference, to be held on June 13-15, 2013, at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. The Road to Majority Conference is one of the premier events for people of faith and conservative activists. ‘We are honored to have Governor Jeb Bush speak at our conference,’ said Ralph Reed, Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.”
@jimgeraghty: Sanford has 15 public events this week, trying to emphasize contrast in accessibility & willingness to engage voters. http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/346250/sanford-im-eager-share-stage-my-opponent …
@thegarance: “POLITICO Playbook, presented by the American Petroleum Institute — HAPPY EARTH DAY”