Loretta Lynch Confirms: It Is Illegal to Transfer GITMO Detainees to the United States

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Feb 24, 2016 3:00 PM
Loretta Lynch Confirms: It Is Illegal to Transfer GITMO Detainees to the United States

Testifying in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch reiterated that transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay Prison to the United States is against the law. From the Washington Times

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that federal law flatly prevents President Obama from sending of the the detainees from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. territory, hurting his ability to follow through on his new closure plan.

“That is the state of the law,” she said, pointing to the most recent defense policy law passed late last year, which cleared Congress on a bipartisan vote and which Mr. Obama himself signed into law.

Lynch also pointed this out during testimony in November of last year. 

“With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that,” Lynch testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee. “Certainly it is the position of the Department of Justice that we would follow the law of the land in regard on that issue.”

President Obama sent Congress a plan Monday to permanently close the prison, which includes illegally bringing dozens of high-level terrorists to prison facilities in the United States. 

Speaker Paul Ryan immediately pushed back on the proposal, reminding President Obama about bipartisan legislation recently passed in the House and Senate banning detainees from being transferred. Today, Ryan threatened the White House with a lawsuit should President Obama proceed unilaterally.

"If the President proceeds with knowingly breaking the law and asking the military to knowingly break the law he will be met with fierce bipartisan opposition here in Congress and we are taking all legal preparations necessary to meet that resistance," Ryan said during a press conference Wednesday. 

There are also rumblings of states preparing lawsuits against the administration to prevent the transfer of detainees to their prisons.