04 Sep Biden Says Obama Administration Might Pursue Charges Against Bush Administration Officials
This, according to an article in the Guardian, September 3, 2008, from a correspondent in Washington. According to the story:
“If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued,” Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.
“[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution,” he added, “out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president — no one is above the law.”
Obama sounded a similar note in April, vowing that if elected, he would ask his attorney general to initiate a prompt review of Bush-era actions to distinguish between possible “genuine crimes” and “really bad policies”.
“[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated,” Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. “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.”
I apologize for interrupting the flow of our conversation with Tom, but it does not seem that this has been widely reported in the press at this time – at least I hadn’t seen it. But I am curious to ask Tom – for later in the discussion – how, if at all, this sits with the strategy that he lays out in the book. I don’t mean to shoehorn this into the book discussion, but it does pique my curiosity. More broadly, as a policy matter – because presumably these are areas subject to political judgment and discretion to some extent – how should a subsequent administration react to what it regards as excesses of the previous one?