Former District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova, who supported Eric Holder’s nomination for Attorney General, has joined the chorus of conservative critics who disagree with the decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court.
“It’s insanity, absolute insanity,” DiGenova told the Washington Examiner. “I think it’s a reckless decision borne of ideology, absolutely bereft of any reason for it happening. It’s just mind boggling.”
DiGenova said it will be difficult to make a case against Mohammed (he didn’t mention the issue of the CIA waterboarding), said the litigation will take forever, the judge would have to have security for the rest of his live, and it l make New York City a target for terrorists again.
Mohammed is being held at the Guantanamo Bay military facility, which President Barack Obama has pledged to close.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Holder’s predecessor in the Bush administration, has also slammed the decision to try KSM in a civilian setting. Conservative commentators on outlets like Fox News have also been unsparing of the decision.
DiGenova, who served as the top D.C. federal prosecutor during the Reagan administration, is married to former Justice Department and Senate Judiciary Committee official Victoria Toensing. Both lent their support to Holder — another former D.C. U.S. Attorney — during his confirmation process earlier this year.
DeGenova told the Examiner, referring to the dismissed corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska):
“We know Eric, and we like him,” says DiGenova. “We supported him because we thought the department needed a revamping, because it had been so messed up by the Bush people. There were prosecutors run amok — just look at the Stevens case, which happened under Bush.” Holder’s nearly nine months as attorney general is “a mixed bag,” says DiGenova. “We still think he’s a good guy, and we think he’s honest. We just disagree with this decision.”