The White House is pushing back against criticism of its commitment to prosecuting some terror suspects in civilian courts after a federal jury convicted former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani on only one of 285 charges.
Ghailani was convicted of conspiring in Al Qaeda's 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa and faces a sentence of 20 years to life behind bars. The Justice Department has said it will seek the maximum punishment.
White House chief spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the administration will use "all the tools at our disposal" to try Guantanamo Bay detainees. But Republicans have seized on the Ghailani verdict as an example why all terror suspects should be prosecuted in military commissions.
"It's time for the administration to listen to the 9/11 families and the American people and change course by putting all terror trials through our military commission system," Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said in a written statement.