Feinstein said she believed Tsarnaev should be questioned under the public safety exception and later read Miranda rights because that's "the only legal way to proceed." The senator further "regretted" that there's even a debate about whether he should be treated as an enemy combatant. King then chimed to assert that the suspect should be treated as an enemy combatant "for the purpose of interrogation."
"The battlefield is now in the United States, so I believe he is an enemy combatant," the congressman argued. There are simply too many unanswered questions, he added, noting "this is a unique opportunity to go into a treasure trove of intelligence."
We're likely to find out, Feinstein added, "that this was somebody who did want to participate in a jihadist event." There will be "ample evidence" to convict the suspect, she contended, "and it should likely be a death penalty case under federal law."
King countered that he wasn't concerned with the conviction, because he knows the suspect will indeed be convicted, but rather he wants to be able to obtain additional intelligence from Tsarnaev. That can only be done "effectively" if he's treated as an enemy combatant. Asked about Tsarnaev not being on an FBI watch list following his trip to Russia, King wondered what was "deficient," "what went wrong." Lauding the FBI for their work resolving the case, the congressman said, in terms of taking action beforehand, this was just the latest in a series of such mishaps.
"The threat is coming from within the Muslim community in the these cases," King doubled down, asked about his recent remarks about "increased surveillance" of that community. Ninety-nine percent of Muslims are "outstanding Americans," he added, but still, that is where the threat originates.
Feinstein didn't find that discussion to be very "helpful," emphasizing instead the need to look at the facts. It's worth looking into, she added, but there's no need to create "hatred" and "disdain" on television about it.
aired April 21, 2013