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Democrats Pushing Bybee Impeachment, Special Prosecutors

Jake Tapper

In the next day or so, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and Rep. Jerold Nadler, D-NY, chair of the subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, are expected to formally request that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Bush-era detainee policy.

Nadler has had some comments about 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee, a former official of the Bush Justice Department who wrote one of the controversial memos outlining legal justifications for harsh interrogation methods that officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross call torture.

"He ought to be impeached," Nadler told the Huffington Post "It was not an honest legal memo. It was an instruction manual on how to break the law."

The Conyers and Nadler request will come just a few days after one of the co-chairs of President Obama's transition team, John Podesta, wrote to Conyers requesting that he "consider" holding impeachment hearings against Bybee, "should he decide not to voluntarily resign. As you are well aware, Judge Bybee is the only architect of the Bush administration’s torture program to currently hold public office."

Podesta spoke about the matter on Sunday on CNN:

"He’s acting and listening to cases, making judgments of others, and we know he authorized things that were illegal under U.S. law and violated the U.S. obligations under international treaties," Podesta said. "If he would do the right thing, he should just simply resign. If he doesn’t, I think this is one matter where he continues to sit — he doesn’t have the moral or legal authority to continue to do that. And I think a simple matter would be to remove him from office."

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