DOJ Abused Classification to Delay Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Presentment

As a number of outlets are reporting, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers have submitted a long anticipated motion to suppress the statements he made during the weekend the FBI interviewed him while he kept asking — 10 times — for a lawyer.

The motion also provides detail on something that bmaz and I found to be just as important — DOJ’s delay in presentment, basically delaying the time before he got a lawyer. It describes how the Public Defenders Office tried to inform Dzhokhar they could represent him, twice trying to give the FBI lawyers letters to do so. The FBI refused the letters each time.

More troubling still, after the Court assured the Public Defenders they would be informed and appointed as soon as Dzhokhar was charged, that didn’t happen. Instead, the court permitted DOJ to seal the complaint, thereby delaying notice to the PDs, permitting another long interrogation session.

Throughout April 20 and 21, the Federal Public Defender and other lawyers from her office contacted court officials, asking to be appointed. Court personnel informed the lawyers that they would be appointed as soon as a complaint was filed. McGinty Aff.

This turned out to be incorrect. A complaint was signed at 6:47 pm on April 21, DE 3, and filed under seal. Interrogation continued through the night and well into the morning of April 22. The government’s motion to seal, DE 1, explained that “public disclosure of these materials might jeopardize the ongoing investigation of this case.” This baffling assertion ignores the fact, well-known to anyone with access to a television, radio, newspaper, smartphone or computer, that Mr. Tsarnaev was in custody. Nothing in the application for the complaint revealed information that had not already been reported by media around the world. It thus appears that the sole reason to seal the complaint was to allow the interrogation to continue by delaying the defendant’s initial appearance before a judicial officer and the appointment of counsel.

And, as the motion notes, the FBI was well beyond asking public safety questions.

The government needs none of this testimony to convict Dzhokhar, even assuming this thing would go to trial.

Which is probably why DOJ and the Court assumed they could get away with this.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

7 replies
  1. chronicle says:

    quote”It thus appears that the sole reason to seal the complaint was to allow the interrogation to continue by delaying the defendant’s initial appearance before a judicial officer and the appointment of counsel.”unquote

    Thus appears. DUH!! As if the entire planet doesn’t know our courts and the FBI are fucking LIARS. LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS …..

    Any questions?

  2. chronicle says:

    btw…just in case there’s any doubt whatsoever…let me remind you…our courts and the FBI are fucking LIARS. LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS …..

  3. P J Evans says:

    I seem to recall that what the government said publicly was that he was answering questions freely, without a lawyer present, and that he’d been informed of his rights before that.

    Makes me wonder what else in this case is a lie on the part of government.

    • chronicle says:

      quote”Makes me wonder what else in this case is a lie on the part of government.”unquote

      For your information, Senator Church pondered the same question. For 3 years. He finally, and unequivocally proved beyond a shadow of doubt that his fellow USG employees in various agencys and departments were lying sacks of shit, capable as well as guilty of assassinations, torture, spying, blackmail, traitor depth war crimes, and anything else the mind could possibly conjure up that evil men can and will commit. Welcome to the Wonder club.

  4. RUKidding says:

    We can speculate ’till the cows come home about what really truly happened during the 2013 Boston Marathon. One thing is very clear: the Fibbies are going to make Tsarnaev take the heat, no matter what. This is just is but one example of many many instances of travesties of justice and legal rules not being followed. Combine that with the fact that people even tangentially connected to the Tsarnaev brothers have either been outright murdered by the Fibbies or summarily deported… and well. The Fix is In.

    Caveat Emptor, folks. There is no such thing as the Rule of Law or a System of “justice” anymore in these here YewNitedStates.

  5. ЯR says:

    Why they needed Jokars testimony is to tidy the loose ends such as people to whom their reluctant mad bomber might have groused. Todashev, his contacts. And other little thin parts that can snap. Jokar could not help with all of those. Ask Belusov. Nicely.

    • chronicle says:

      quote:”Ask Belusov. Nicely.”unquote

      With all due respect, can you please explain who Belusov IS, and why he needs to be asked…something…nicely? I’m always interested in little tidbits of info anyone has to add to the puzzle.

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