Staten Island DA Dan Donovan, who has been eyeing a potential run for AG on the GOP line, just released a lengthy statement slamming the US Justice Department for refusing to take New York City off the table as the location for the 9/11 terror trials.

Daniel Donovan

Donovan reiterated his call for the trial of “9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed” to take place before a military commission far away from the city’s federal courts. The press release notes that Donovan is the “official law enforcement official of Richmond County, which lost 268 residents in the terrorist attacks.

The DA decries the fact that the DOJ is so far refusing to heed the “common sense” arguments made by Mayor Bloomberg and others that the trials, which the city estimates will cost at least $200 million a year due to increased security costs and require turning Lower Manhattan into a “fortress.”

“As a prosecutor, I am deeply disappointed that so little attention has been paid to the core considerations against trying this self-professed terrorist in civilian court as if he were a common criminal, entitled to rights under a Constitution he proclaims to despise,” Donovan writes.

“… A trial before a military commission, in accordance with the standards set in the Military Commissions Act, will protect the rights of the accused to a fair trial, but will also ensure the integrity of our system of justice and protect the security interests of the American people.”

“The current proposal by the Justice Department will not result in justice, but will offer a venue in the world’s largest media market for those who hate America and seek to make a mockery of our system, all while further crippling the economy of New York City.”

This is the most outspoken I’ve seen Donovan be on an issue in some time. The mere fact that his statement reached me in the nosebleed seats here in Albany makes me wonder whether he’s inching closer to an announcement about a statewide run.

Donovan’s spokesman William Smith told me not long ago that his boss would be making a decision about his political future within the next few weeks.

While at least five – and possibly more – Democrats have been jockeying for the right to succeed AG Andrew Cuomo when he gives up his current post to run for governor, not a single Republican has yet announced his or her candidacy.

Warren County DA Kate Hogan was wooed by GOP leaders, but recently took a pass on the race. Sen. John Flanagan has said he’s looking at a potential statewide run, but Long Island insiders say what the senator really wants to is run for Suffolk County executive (maybe in a GOP primary against Steve Levy?) next fall.