If Elected, Obama will Review (and prosecute if justified) Bush Admin Officials for Criminal Acts

This is good.  In answer to a question from Will Bunch on TPM, Barack Obama states that the rule of law is more important than bipartisanship and bringing people together.

What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued.

As Obama tends to do, he qualified his statements a lot and provided verbal support for not acting in a partisan manner.  But the bottom line is:  

If crimes have been committed, they should be investigated.

The rule of law matters in a democracy.  I am glad that Barack Obama says he will uphold the rule of law.  

I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law

Here is the full statement from TPM:

What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now.

I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.

So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment — I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General — having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now — are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it’s important– one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity.

You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law — and I think that’s roughly how I would look at it.

Will Bunch on TPM

We know there have been many, many crimes by members of this administration.  It is essential that the new President return the Uniteid States to the rule of law, not the rule of persons that we have had for the last seven plus years.  Members of this adminsitration, inlcudeing George Bush, may well have violated United States and international law.  It si time for prosecution if the evidence and law warrants it.  Obama seems to say he will prosecute crimes.

I expect blanket pardons by Bush at the end of his term, but the crimes must be investigated and detailed.  A functioning democracy requires the rule of law.  

Obama’s statement is a very good thing, in my view.

1 comment

    • TomP on April 15, 2008 at 6:29 pm
      Author

    At least we might get this.  It’s not impeachment, but we need soemthing.  This cannot be ignored like Iran Contra was.  

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