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.
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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.
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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.