Highlights: The DOJ for no verbalized reason has given the mastermind of the Benghazi attacks a victory before even going to trial. No death penalty, and zero in exchange.
The killer loves the result. 18 count indictment, but worst that can happen is life in prison.And as the report points out that precludes his ability to plea bargain an outcome.
And why not? Loretta Lynch and the Obama DOJ has already surrendered their best bargaining chip. To the mastermind who bragged on Benghazi TV only days after the attack how he had taught American infidels a lesson.
On MOST days now, it’s like they’re not even trying to win.
From the Associated:
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department will not seek the death penalty against Ahmed Abu Khattala, the suspected Libyan militant charged in the Benghazi attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, federal officials announced Tuesday.
The department revealed its decision, which pushes the case forward toward trial, in a brief court filing that offered no additional explanation.
In a separate statement, spokeswoman Emily Pierce said Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the decision after reviewing the case and consulting with federal prosecutors. She said the department is “committed to ensuring that the defendant is held accountable” for the 2012 attacks.
Abu Khattala’s attorneys, who have challenged the strength of the government’s evidence, had implored the Justice Department to remove the death penalty as a possibility should he ultimately be convicted of any capital crimes at trial. With that punishment now off the table, he would face a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty.
“It was a decision that was the correct decision, but was also a courageous decision — so we’re pleased,” one of his attorneys, Eric Lewis, told The Associated Press.
Abu Khattala, captured by U.S. special forces in Libya two years ago and brought to the U.S. aboard a Navy ship, has been awaiting trial in federal court in Washington in connection with the September 2012 violence at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi. Prosecutors have described him as a ringleader of the attacks, which quickly emerged as a political flashpoint and became the topic of congressional hearings involving Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, secretary of state at the time of the rampage.
Assuming it doesn’t resolve through a plea agreement, a trial of Abu Khattala would represent of the most significant terrorism prosecutions in recent years and also an illustration of the Obama administration’s commitment to prosecuting suspected militants captured overseas in U.S. civilian courts.
The 18-count indictment arises from a burst of violence that began the night of Sept. 11, 2012, at a State Department diplomatic compound, an attack prosecutors say was aimed at murdering American personnel and plundering maps, documents and other property from the post.
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the first attack at the U.S. mission, along with Sean Patrick Smith, a State Department information management officer. Nearly eight hours later at a CIA complex nearby, two more Americans, contract security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, died in a mortar attack.
Abu Khattala has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder of an internationally protected person, providing material support to terrorists and destroying U.S. property while causing death.