Gardner on Guantanamo Transfer Plan: “What basis in law does [the President] believe he has?”

Washington, DC – At a press conference in the Capitol today, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) spoke out about President Obama’s reckless, illegal plan to bring terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility to the United States. In his remarks, Senator Gardner challenged the Administration to provide answers to a letter he wrote last month demanding to know why the Administration is ignoring existing law barring any taxpayer money going towards assisting in the transfer of these detainees.

Click here to watch Senator Gardner’s Statement

Gardner’s remarks, in full, read:

I will not sit idly by while the President uses political promises to imperil the people of Colorado by moving enemy combatants from Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, to my state of Colorado.

Look, the law is very clear. The law states no money shall be made available, shall be used, can be designated for the assistance of the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Several weeks ago, several weeks ago I was asked on a Thursday by an Associated Press reporter, are you hearing anything about a team from the Pentagon that is going to Colorado to look at a closed state prison for the transfer of these detainees?

The next day we found out in the New York Times that that is indeed exactly what had happened.

Despite the law making it very clear that money shall not be made available to assist in the transfer of a Guantanamo Bay detainee, that money was made available, a team was sent, that money was expended, in violation of the law.

We sent a letter to the President asking what basis in law does he believe he has to violate the law. And as usual, we have yet to receive a response.

Now let me make this clear, there has been a lot of talk about the prison facility that they are looking at in Colorado.

The prison that they looked at is a closed state prison that would take millions upon millions upon millions of dollars to retrofit. Is that part of the plan they have in place despite the law that says you cannot spend money to assist in the transfer?

These are questions that have to be answered. These are questions the President doesn’t want to answer because if he did the President would know that he is violating the law that was passed by a bipartisan group of Senators with an overwhelming majority.

We have an obligation to stand up for the rule of law and the President has an obligation to drop campaign promises that imperil the people of this country.



Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.


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