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Tipsheet

Attorney General Loretta Lynch: The Law Doesn't Allow Obama to Bring GITMO Prisoners to U.S.

For years, but especially in recent months, the Obama administration has hinted President Obama will close Guantanamo Bay Prison with an executive order and transfer remaining detainees to a federal prison somewhere in the United States. Colorado and Kansas have been named as two places the administration has been considering and over the weekend, the administration transferred an additional five detainees to the United Arab Emirates.
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But according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who successfully prosecuted a number of terrorism cases during her time as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Obama doesn't have the legal ability to transfer detainees to American soil. From the LA Times

Lynch, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, was pressed by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) about whether the president has the authority to transfer “some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists” to the U.S.

“The law currently does not allow for that,” Lynch replied. “And that is not, as I am aware of, going to be contemplated given the legal proscriptions.”

Immediately after Lynch provided the honest analysis of the situation, she was forced to do damage control.

Later, in response to a question from the Los Angeles Times, Justice Department Director of Public Affairs Melanie Newman issued a clarification of Lynch’s remarks.

"The Attorney General is aware that the administration is working diligently to finalize the plan to safely and responsibly close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, which will be delivered to Congress when complete,” Newman said. “Given the White House focus on this, her comments were intended to prevent speculation on outcomes of that process.”
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The Pentagon is expected to release a report to Congress and the Obama administration any day detailing the draw down plan for the prison. President Obama has repeatedly threatened to close the prison without congressional approval.

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