Feinstein says Obama should move terror trials from New York City

President Barack Obama should order the trial for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other accused terrorists moved out of New York City, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is the highest-ranking Democrat to urge the administration to reverse course on its decision to bring the terror leaders to Manhattan for trial.

"In my view, from an intelligence perspective, I think the situation has changed with the Christmas attack," Feinstein said on MSNBC, citing confidential intelligence briefings.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I think the administration should listen to the mayor, listen to the mayor's concern, and, candidly, make a change," she said, referencing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's urging the administration to move the terror trials out of the city. "There's nothing wrong with making a change."

Democrats have steadily turned against the administration's plan to try Mohammed and other suspects in New York, with several Democratic senators and a member of New York's delegation, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D), calling for moving the trial.

"There are other places to try it in the U.S. that are much more remote, much less a target, and much less a squatting ground for propaganda around the world," Feinstein explained, though she declined to suggest where the administration might move the trials.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton defended the administration's decision on the trials during a gaggle with reporters on Thursday.

"He agrees with the attorney general's opinion that — in November — that he and others can be litigated successfully and securely in the United States of America, just like others have, like Richard Reid," Burton said. "Currently our federal jails hold hundreds of convicted terrorists, and the president's opinion has not changed on that."

This article was updated at 2:24 p.m.