WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- A ranking Republican says he will sound out President Obama's nominee to lead the FBI on his views of the legal status of suspected terrorists.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he would press James Comey on whether he considers terrorists to be so-called enemy combatants fighting a war against the United States, or criminal suspects who would be given civil-rights protections.
"When are we fighting a war? When are we fighting a crime? What's the difference?" Graham told The Hill. "And does (Comey) buy into the idea that we're at war and the homeland's a part of the battlefield?"
The war on terror will, in fact, be a major component of Comey's confirmation hearing before Graham and the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee next month.
The Hill said Sunday committee members were also likely to delve into the FBI's handling of the tip they received from Russia on the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects. Another issue will be the use of unmanned drones to conduct electronic surveillance in the United States.