Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) told MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on Thursday that former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney could still be held accountable for violating federal criminal statues.
“As a former prosecutor and a former member of the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate, I spent a lot of time taking a look at the statues,” she explained. “It’s one thing to abuse power, and it’s one thing not to do the right thing, but it’s another thing to commit a crime.”
Holtzman said Bush and Cheney appear to have “knowingly” violated at least three statues.
She said Bush and Cheney likely committed conspiracy to defraud the United States, for the “deceptions” involved in going to war with Iraq. Secondly, she claimed they violated federal statues regarding the wiretapping of Americans without a court order. Thirdly, Holtzman said Bush and Cheney violated federal laws prohibiting torture.
“What we can’t afford to do is allow a president to say he is above the law,” she remarked.
After taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama banned the use of torture and promised to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. But vowed not to prosecute former Bush Administration officials, saying it was a “time for reflection, not retribution.”
Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below: