EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans from New York are criticizing the Biden administration for considering plea deals for alleged orchestrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
"The 9/11 conspirators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law for the pain they inflicted on America," Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, a former NYPD detective, told Fox News Digital Monday.
"Offering plea deals to these terrorists is a slap in the face to the families who lost loved ones."
More than 2,000 relatives of those killed 9/11 appealed to President Biden in a letter Monday urging him to block any plea agreement between his Justice Department and five defendants, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the attacks. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.
It comes after the Pentagon informed several relatives of victims it is considering accepting guilty pleas from the defendants in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table in each of their cases, according to CBS News.
"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed orchestrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks, personally pitching the plan to Osama Bin Laden. It is beyond the pale that the Biden administration is proposing a plea deal that would let him and other 9/11 perpetrators, who murdered nearly 3,000 innocent lives, avoid the justice they deserve," Rep. Mike Lawler told Fox News Digital.
"We owe it to the victims and their families to deliver justice, and that should mean the death penalty for these murderers."
Rep. Nick LaLota, a U.S. Navy veteran, argued the reported plea deal is unjustly favorable to those accused of plotting the terror attacks.
"If the only thing the 9/11 mastermind and his accomplices are offering for a lesser sentence is merely accepting responsibility for murdering 3,000 people, the Justice Department is wrongfully denying [victims’] families of the maximum accountability they deserve," he told Fox News Digital.
Fox News Digital reached out to the Pentagon for a response to the lawmakers' comments.
No plea agreement is in place at the moment. The cases have dragged on for years due to questions about controversial methods — such as waterboarding — used to obtain evidence from them and other Guantánamo Bay detainees.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in 2001 when two hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center in New York City. A third slammed into the Pentagon just outside of Washington, D.C., and a fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. More than 2,700 people died in Manhattan alone.