(CNN) “Donald Trump has come under fire for recommending US citizens accused of terrorism be prosecuted before military tribunals. But despite the criticism, Trump’s concerns are not only merited — they are, in fact, within the bounds of the law.”
Consider the exact words of what Trump proposed. Trump was asked by a reporter, “Would you try to get military commissions to try U.S. citizens?” To which he replied, “Well, I know that they want to try them in our regular court systems, and I don’t like that at all. I don’t like that at all. I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine.”
…Some critics have also suggested that Trump’s remarks would run afoul not only of the constitution but also of precedent, alleging that no prior US president has used military tribunals to try American citizens. That, however, isn’t the case.
As the Washington Times points out, the eight co-conspirators of John Wilkes Booth, President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, were all tried in military court. Lincoln’s attorney general reasoned that this was permissible since they had associated with an enemy of the Untied States and had violated the laws of war, the universally accepted rules and customs for engaging in conflict.