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CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript - Boston Bombers Investigation


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CROWLEY: I'm joined now by Senator Dan Coats, Republican senator from Indiana and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Congressman Adam Schiff, California Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. And thank you both for joining us this morning.

Let me talk because we just talked a little bit about the suspect being read his Miranda rights. Couple of FBI agents that I've talked to and others have talked to sort of seeping into the press, they were unhappy about the decision to mirandize him when they did. There were other questions they wanted to ask. What did you think of it?

SCHIFF: Well, I think there are two issues. When does the law enforcement agents, when do they have to mirandize him? And I think they properly invoked the public safety exception. But the other question is when does he have to be presented before the magistrate?

In this case, it seems like the magistrate made clear -- the magistrate was going to arraign this person on Monday and that put a very real limit on how long the questioning could go on. Already, I think the statements that the suspect made are going to be challenged by the defense team. And while the priority has to be on making use of any information that could protect the public, it's also valuable to be able to admit those into evidence.

If, for example, the attorney general decides to seek the death penalty, those may be -- his statements may be the best evidence of what his intent was, what his role was, how culpable he was -- count the need to produce that evidence.

CROWLEY: Sure. We're told that he clammed up then though after reading the Miranda rights. Certainly I would.

COATS: I was very surprised that they moved as quickly as they did. We had, I think, legal reasons and follow-up investigative reasons to drag this out a little bit longer. We could have done that. I think the AG, attorney general, should have sent a signal basically saying we're within our legal bounds in doing this for the public safety exemption.

We need to get this information from the younger brother. He was wounded before. He wasn't able to communicate. We've had very little time.

CROWLEY: Do you have any suspicion anything valuable was lost in the mirandizing?

COATS: We won't know, because now, his lawyers are not allowing him to say anything.


COATS: There could have been -- it would have been worth the effort to stretch this out a few more hours to see what we could find.

SCHIFF: I think it looks like the FBI got what they needed in terms of making sure the public was safe, and that's really the basis of the public safety exception. The FBI is always going to want to interview as long as they possibly can to get into what happened overseas and the full nature of the plot, but the public safety exception only goes really to protecting the public.

And once they have gotten the information they need to do that, that's really the full length and dimension of that exception.

CROWLEY: Sure, but they could still not mirandize him and just not use whatever he says against him.

SCHIFF: Everybody says to stretch that out and we could have learned more information.

CROWLEY: I want to read you sort of switching a little bit to another angle. Congressman Rogers, Mike Rogers, you know, the chairman of the intelligence committee, had this to say to the "Boston Herald" Friday, "I hear a lot of definitive statements out there that it was just these two men and it's over, but I will tell you, I hear these briefings every day and I don't think is over. There are clearly more persons of interest and they're 100 percent sure if there aren't other explosives."

I want to get -- you were also (ph) in those intelligence briefings. So, tell me whether you believe at this point from what you've seen whether this was the work of two men who self-radicalized via the internet, or otherwise, or whether you think there's something broader going on?

COATS: There's always a rush to try to rationalize what in this case was an irrational act. And I think you need time to sort all this out and not rush to judgment. Everybody wants to say as soon as we figure out exactly what happened here, then we're safe again. Well, we don't live in that kind of world right now. We want to learn as much as we possibly can from this.

We want to make whatever changes are necessary to further strengthen our security protections for the American people. But we need time to really dig down through this. There's still things that need to be understood. The trip to Russia, a whole number of things.

CROWLEY: Right. Your sense of it at this point? Because some of the investigators have led us to believe both on background, and otherwise, that this looks as though it was not attached to a major group. Is that your sense of what you're hearing?

SCHIFF: I think that's probably true. But I would agree with Mike Rogers in this. We really don't know yet what happened during the six-month trip to Dagestan. There are a lot of unanswered questions there. They may have been radicalizing influences in the United States. There may have been radicalizing influences overseas.

It does look like a lot of radicalization was self-radicalization online, but we don't know the full answers yet. That's why this investigation is going to be thorough. It's going to chase down every lead. It will take as long as it takes, but I think Mike is right. We shouldn't leap to the conclusion that we know the full story yet.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the other sort of emerging story here which is that, somehow, when we talk so much about 9/11 about connecting dots and then we got the Homeland Security Department and we got the director of National Intelligence, and supposedly, this was all fit.

Is anything you have heard over the past two weeks about who knew what especially about the older brother, what Russia said, whether it was picked up and who knew he was leaving the country? It appears maybe nobody.

Who knew he was coming back in? That appears to be nobody knew he was coming back in. Do you think that there was a failure to connect the dots either between the CIA and the FBI or between sort of federal law enforcement and local?

COATS: Well, first of all, I think we have to acknowledge that we've come a long way since 9/11. The cooperation between the federal, state, and the local in the immediate follow-up --

CROWLEY: Cooperation was great. The Intel is I think where the question is.

COATS: Well, I mean, Intel is not 100 percent perfect. The Russians really did not give us specific information. They just said, kind of, look out. We did an investigation in this. Now, they've released some more information that may have -- one thing we have to do is make sure that we simultaneously send any of these pings that happened when the older brother came back, that didn't get sent to the whole network.


COATS: You know, somebody sitting somewhere could have said, you know, that name's familiar. I think we did a file on that. Let me check into that. But we want everybody to know in the whole community, the whole Intel community.

CROWLEY: Right. You've got a guy in your city, et cetera, et cetera.

SCHIFF: I don't think that we've seen any of stove piping issues that pre-dated 9/11. I think we have fixed a lot of those problems. What we may see here maybe in a way a more striking conclusion, that is that in a free and open society, even when you do everything right, you still may not be able to prevent a group of people willing to kill themselves using relatively low tech means.

CROWLEY: So much more comforting, though to, you know say, if we just connected the dots we could have figured this out.

SCHIFF: Exactly. But I think we might do a disservice to the American people if we suggest that there's always got to be a problem when anything bad happens. The reality is we would need to take such intrusive steps, make this country into a police state that no one would want to accept in order to completely prevent these low tech attacks.

COATS: I agree with Adam. And I think it's important to also recognize that since 9/11, if you talk to any of us back then, we would have said, we would have had multiple attacks like this over this last ten or 11 years. It's remarkable that we've done as well as we have.


COATS: Democratic open society and some of these things -- we're doing everything we can, but you know, we have to be right 100 percent of the time. And they only have to be right one percent.

CROWLEY: Let me ask you as a final question, Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, was asked about whether or not he felt the Americans took the Russian information seriously. And he said "the Russian special services to my great regret were not able to provide our American colleagues with information that would have operative significance."

Now, we're learning in the past day or two that they did actually have intercepted phone calls sort of vaguely mentioned jihad between a mother and maybe one of her sons. Do you think that Russia knows more that told us at the time and knows more now?

SCHIFF: I think they probably do. I can see why initially they didn't want to share the fact that this was intercept. We're reluctant just as they are to reveal our sources and methods and this was one of their sources. But at the same time, if they were up on this -- on the mother or someone related to the mother and listening, there's got to be a basis for why they went up on her electronically or why they went up on one of her affiliates or associates.

We don't know that. We haven't received that information from the Russians. I think they do know more than their telling us.


COATS: -- these kind of terrorist attacks. And the more we can work together, the better we can prevent them in the future.

CROWLEY: Senator Coats, Congressman Schiff, thank you for joining us.

COATS: You bet.

SCHIFF: Thank you.


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