Ryan on NYC terror suspect: ‘Let the justice system play itself out’

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi calls on Ryan to bring long-term Violence Against Women Act to floor Juan Williams: America warms up to socialism Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday appeared to side against those calling for the suspect in Tuesday's terror attack in Manhattan to be held as an enemy combatant rather than prosecuted through the Justice Department.

In an interview with CNN, Ryan said that the justice system should "play itself out" in the case of 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, who was shot in the leg and detained by police after allegedly striking a crowd of pedestrians with a rented Home Depot truck, killing eight people and wounding several others.

"I think there's no — there should be no safe harbor in any way, shape or form for terrorists," Ryan said. "But as far as I'm concerned, let the Justice Department and let the justice system play itself out.”


Ryan wouldn't specifically say whether Saipov should be held as an enemy combatant, instead saying that he has "already" been arraigned in federal court.

"I'm pretty sure they arraigned him already in federal court. So I'm pretty sure he's going to go through the federal court system, if I'm not mistaken," Ryan said.

On Wednesday, prosecutors charged Saipov with providing material support to a terrorist group and violence and destruction of a motor vehicle with willful disregard for human life. The charges come with a possible death sentence.

"This is a bad guy. He's a terrorist. Obviously I think that's already an established point. But again, I think the justice system should just play itself out," Ryan said.

Asked for further clarification on the subject, the Speaker's office declined to comment.

Ryan's comments are in contrast to those made by Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAnother recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us To cure Congress, elect more former military members MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCriticizing Trump’s ‘unsung success’ in Puerto Rico is valid — empty rhetoric is not Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing Ken Starr says 'I trust Brett Kavanaugh' over allegations that are 'so wildly out of character' MORE (R-S.C.), who called for Saipov to be sent to Guantánamo Bay in a press conference Wednesday.

“There’s ample evidence to suggest that these attacks were motivated by radical Islamic thought, that he killed in the name of radical Islam and that he is expressing his allegiance to ISIS, that he is acting as a soldier of the caliphate — and we should treat him as a soldier of the caliphate,” Graham said, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

If Saipov were treated as an enemy combatant, he would not be entitled to a lawyer or read his Miranda rights.

President Trump on Thursday defended the decision to try Saipov in federal courts.

“Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system,” the president tweeted Thursday morning.

In a tweet the night before, Trump called for Saipov's eventual execution.