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.

Tweet about this on Twitter17Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook9Google+0Email to someone

7 Responses to DOJ Abused Classification to Delay Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Presentment

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @SunsetGunShot California Split is a magnificent movie. Beautiful look at it.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Atrios This is why your house locked you out.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @rsingel @ClaraJeffery Mike Kiefer wrote a beautiful tribute http://t.co/KOVPjmXUQ7
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @maryjpitzl @azcentral Is there a poll on the AG race?
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AlfredoPhxAZ Jeebus, here's to a speedy and full recovery
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ClaraJeffery If you have not seen this by Mike Kiefer, you should http://t.co/KOVPjmXUQ7
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The Politics of the ISIS Threat: Obama And The Warmongers http://t.co/RvAxgr0Tme Nice piece recognizing insane push for war
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @OrinKerr: 2d Cir to hear NSA case in oral arg Tuesday. Good panel for challengers, I think. http://t.co/VlpKFHOasP
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Mansfield2016 I still think it is Sri.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz This is beautiful RT @michaelbkiefer On the death of Tucson writer Charles Bowden. http://t.co/KOVPjmXUQ7
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @michaelbkiefer Nice remembrance.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @xor This is comedy? @TyreJim @sarahjeong
9hreplyretweetfavorite
May 2014
S M T W T F S
« Apr   Jun »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031