President Obama is open to changing the decades-old Miranda rule that bars prosecutors from using information from interrogations of suspects before they are informed of their right to remain silent, top White House political adviser David Axelrod told CNN Monday night.
“I think the president is open to looking at that issue,” Axelrod told Wolf Blitzer. “The question is whether the public safety exception that allows a delay in administering those rights is — how elastic is that and do we need to make any sort of adjustment to it.”
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Sunday that the Administration would ask Congress to make the so-called public safety exception to Miranda “more flexible” for terrorism cases. TPMmuckraker has reported that experts believe the interrogations of the suspects in the attempted Christmas and Times Square bombing cases were undertaken before giving the Miranda warning under an unusually robust use of the public safety exception.
It’s not yet clear how Congress could change Miranda, which is rooted in a 1966 Supreme Court ruling.
While saying Obama is open to changing the rule, Axelrod also said that in the Times Square case, “the system worked.”
Here’s the video, with transcript below (hat tip to the New York Times’ Charlie Savage):
BLITZER: The attorney general now says it’s time to take another look at the whole Miranda rights that are provided to suspects in these kind of cases, in the aftermath of the Times Square bombing incident. Is the president and attorney general, are they on the same page when it comes to reopening the Miranda rights laws right now?
AXELROD: I think the president is open to looking at that issue. The question is whether the public safety exception that allows a delay in administering those rights is — how elastic is that and do we need to make any sort of adjustment to it. Basically, though, the — that went fairly well. The suspect was interrogated. The suspect obviously shared a great deal of information. And the system worked. So there may be some things that have to be done. Certainly we’re willing to talk to Congress about that. But they would be in the — in the area of adjustments, not wholesale revision.