WASHINGTON – The incoming Obama administration should launch a criminal investigation of Bush administration officials to see whether they broke the law in the name of national security, a House Democratic report said Tuesday. President-elect Barack Obama has been more cautious on the issue and has not endorsed such a recommendation.
Along with the criminal probe, the report called for a Sept. 11-style commission with subpoena power, to gather facts and make recommendations on preventing misuse of power, according to the report by the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee.
The report covers Bush administration policies that Democrats have protested for some time. Among them: interrogation of foreign detainees, warrantless wiretaps, retribution against critics, manipulation of intelligence and political dismissals of U.S. attorneys...
...The criminal investigation would include issues apart from national security, such as whether laws were violated in the politically inspired firing of U.S. attorneys.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said his staff has met with the Obama transition officials on the report. The president-elect's transition team has not endorsed it.
The congressionally appointed commission should have subpoena power, the report said. It suggested the new president order "full cooperation by all present and past federal employees with requests for information."
Conyers already has introduced legislation to form the commission.