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Boston Bombing News: Why is the Grand Jury Still Meeting? II

When I first asked this question three months ago, it had been five months since the Boston marathon bombing but the grand jury was still meeting. So now it has been eight months and according to the Associated Press the grand jury was still meeting as of Thursday (h/t cv1975). Why? Well, we don’t know, but we know who they heard from.

Two scared kids.

That is Russell family attorney Amato DeLuca’s characterization of the younger sisters of Katherine Russell, the widow of the late bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev; DeLuca says they testified before the grand jury on Thursday, presumably under compulsion. What would the sisters know of interest to the investigation? DeLuca says “I think what they are doing is what you expect them to do. Look at everyone and talk to everyone who has any possible information, and see what comes of it,”

Well, I’m sure Mr. DeLuca is a competent attorney in dealing with wills or insurance, but he looks out of his depth here. When the one member of the Russell family who would know the most about the Tsarnaev brothers is not called but everyone else is, you have to figure that the interest is in that person herself, not the brothers.

It is true that when Russell’s parents were called in to testify in September her own attorney, the high-powered Josh Dratel, said he had been assured that she was not a target of the investigation. Accordingly, I speculated then that the government was fishing for more possible charges against the defendant of record in this case Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in the context of the existing indictment showing problems.

However, the younger sisters can hardly have known much about their brother-in-law who lived in a different state (Massachusetts as opposed to Rhode Island), much less his own brother. We know that the FBI claims to have found incriminating material on Katherine’s computer in addition to the computers belonging to the brothers. It would be difficult to prove that it was not put there by her husband rather than her, but perhaps less so if she had been overheard somewhere expressing, say, sympathy for people in the Middle East fighting against the US occupiers.

Things might have changed in the government’s view since September. (If nothing else, it has received more than a little criticism for imposing Special Administrative Measures on Dzhokhar’s incarceration.)

In any case, curioser and curioser.

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E. F. Beall

E. F. Beall