Attorney General Eric Holder defended the decision to Mirandize Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but refused to comment on the Saturday news that Russian intelligence intercepted a phone call involving the suspect’s mother in 2011.
CNN caught up with Holder Saturday evening at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to ask him about media reports that Russian authorities intercepted a phone communication between Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, and possibly one of her sons, vaguely discussing jihad back in 2011.
“That’s an ongoing matter,” Holder said. “I can’t really comment on that.”
However, Holder didn’t mind commenting on another aspect of the ongoing investigation.
The CNN correspondent asked Holder about the appropriateness of reading Dzhokhar his Miranda rights.
Holder told CNN:
The decision to Mirandize him was one that the magistrate made and that was totally consistent with the laws that we have. We had a two-day period to question him under the public safety exception. So I think everything was done appropriately and we got good leads.
Authorities only had 16 hours of the 48 they thought they had to question the Boston Marathon terrorist before a federal judge arrived Monday to Mirandize him.
According to a NewsMax report:
Early on Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler showed up at the hospital unannounced with a federal prosecutor and public defender while the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was being questioned by the FBI.
He was under interrogation for about 16 hours when Bowler read him his Miranda rights, according to news reports. The FBI thought it had 36 to 48 hours to question Tsarnaev under the pre-Miranda public-safety exemption.
The 19-year-old suspect was arrested four days after the April 15 blasts and was transferred on Friday to Federal Medical Center Devens, an all-male prison outside Boston.
Watch Holder respond to CNN’s questions here: