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Republican congressman: I have ‘no hesitation whatsoever’ in probing Bush for torture

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A newly elected Republican congressman said in a little-noticed interview Tuesday he’d have “no hesitation whatsoever” in beginning an investigation of the former President George W. Bush for torture.

Appearing on MSNBC’s The Dylan Rattigan show, GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who also serves on the House Government Oversight Committee, said he’d be more than willing to join a torture probe.

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“How far back do you think is appropriate?” Rattigan asked. “Because the one thing that’s not on this list is for instance a torture investigation.”

“Well, it may be on the list as well,” Chaffetz said. “I’m not afraid of going after the Bush administration. I wasn’t brought here by the establishment.

“When I ran for congressman in 2008 — I’m just a freshman here, George W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, and Bob Bennett, three Republicans, they campaigned against me,” Chaffetz added. “So I don’t mind going back and looking at ‘em. So I don’t have any hestitation whatsoever.”

Chaffetz’s position differs from that of the current Democratic presidential administration of Barack Obama. The civil liberties group American Civil Liberties Union has criticized Obama for not being more proactive in opening investigations into CIA practices.

“This is the remarkable thing: Other countries are reckoning with the legacy of the Bush administration’s torture program, and meanwhile the United States is not,” Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s national security program, told McClatchy Newspapers in August.

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“That’s part of why we’re so concerned,” Jaffer added. “The Obama administration, rather than investigate the abuses of the last eight years, has increasingly become an obstacle to accountability.”

Still, there is an ongoing investigation into whether the CIA or its contractors went beyond US law when interrogating suspected terrorists.

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Attorney General Eric Holder has tapped Assistant US Attorney John Durham to asked him to look into whether the CIA or contractors went beyond legal interrogation methods. That investigation is ongoing, according to NPR.

Chaffetz’s comments were first picked up by the liberal blog, ThinkProgress. A detailed (and thoughtful) investigative profile of the congressman can be read at The Washington City Paper website.

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2020 Election

WATCH: CNN fact checker shows how Trump campaign ‘egregiously altered’ Biden photos in new ad

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CNN fact checker Daniel Dale on Thursday showed on President Donald Trump's campaign has been blatantly manipulating photos of former Vice President Joe Biden to make it look like he has spent the last year sitting in his basement.

While appearing on "New Day," Dale dissected images of Biden in Trump's new ad and showed how the campaign used Photoshop to put the photos in a completely different context.

"[The ad] uses three misleading images, one of which is egregiously altered," Dale said. "That first image shows Joe Biden speaking at a town hall in Iowa outdoors at a nature preserve... what the ad does is remove the microphone from his hand and remove the trees, replacing it with a wall to make him seem like he's alone and not talking to anyone."

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Expert explains the psychopathology that underlies Trump’s dictatorial behavior

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I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

Trump has shown little interest or intent in following our Constitution. He is not abiding by the emoluments clause. He breaks norms and rules at will. He does not recognize that the three branches of government are co-equal. He operates as if the executive branch has total power. Our democracy is not based on the executive branch having absolute power. It requires that the three branches have separate powers in a check-and-balances system. Trump impugns democracy because it limits his power and requires him to be held accountable.

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‘Donald who?’ Presidential historian predicts GOP support for Trump will erode in the face of a ‘blue wave’

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MSNBC's Jon Meacham predicts that President Donald Trump won't be able to count on Republican support through a lengthy vote-counting process.

The historian and author told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that GOP support may wane if Democrats strengthen their House majority and take over the Senate from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, even if the results of the presidential election aren't known until weeks later.

"There's a much better chance that Joe Biden will end up somewhat centering the Democratic Party than anybody is going to come along and center the Republican Party," Meacham said, "and I think that's an existential threat to a Republican Party that has sold its soul, the check bounced, and they've got to figure out what are they going to do to attempt to be something approaching majority party in this demographically changing country."

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