Robert Gibbs said in a CNN interview that he expects Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the reputed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, will be convicted and executed. Some are now wondering if Gibbs' comments have compromised Mohammed's right to a fair trial
"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet justice and he's going to meet his maker," Robert Gibbs said in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
"He will be brought to justice and he's likely to be executed for the heinous crimes he committed."
The comments have raised concerns among legal experts who said that Gibbs' remarks could compromise Mohammed's right to a fair trial.
Ramzi Kassem, who has acted as a defence attorney for several detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, said it was "highly unusual" for a White House spokesperson "to say something that so clearly cuts against the principle of the presumption of innocence, which is at the heart of our judicial system."
"For someone like Mr Gibbs to come out so clearly against the presumption of innocence is egregious to say the least," he told Al Jazeera.
"This is what you get when you allow the politics of the moment to dictate your public statements."
You're the Press Secretary, dude! Your job is to dooooooo press. Doing press for the White House generally involves not making a statement like that on a subject like this. Somewhere, Adam Serwer is polishing his cudgel.
Here's a question: What do we expect the Republican reaction to be to Gibbs' statement?