House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Sunday the U.S. should consider holding military trials for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay and that American jurors might enjoy the taxpayer-funded trip to Cuba.
“Other juries are sequestered and it’s a Caribbean island,” Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” when asked by host Bob Schieffer about how to get jurors to the island. “It’s not like it’s the Archipelago or Siberia.”
Mr. Hoyer’s statement follows the civilian trial last week of Ahmed Ghailani, who was convicted on just one of roughly 270 charges related to the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. The case has renewed the debate about whether the better venue is a military commission or civilian court for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
Mr. Hoyer also said he likely would have been elected the chamber’s minority leader had Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided not pursue the post.
“Had she not run, I would have run for leader,” he said. “And I think I would have been elected leader.”
Mr. Hoyer will take the party’s No. 2 post in the chamber — House minority whip — when the next Congress begins work in January.