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Everyone wants to know: will Obama order investigations into the Bush administration's abuses of power? But, perhaps the new question should be: if he doesn't, who will?
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) is at least going to try.
Conyers published a nearly 500-page report (PDF link) Tuesday titled, "Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the presidency of George W. Bush."
Conyers' report makes 47 recommendations "designed to restore the traditional checks and balances of our constitutional system," reads the foreward. Recommendations include the establishment of a 'blue ribbon' commission to fully investigate the Bush administration, and the launch of criminal probes.
"Even after scores of hearings, investigations, and reports, we still do not have answers to some of the most fundamental questions left in the wake of Bush’s Imperial Presidency," Conyers said in a release. "Investigations are not a matter of payback or political revenge – it is our responsibility to examine what has occurred and to set an appropriate baseline of conduct for future administrations."
On Jan. 6, Conyers introduced a bill that, if passed, would create the "Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties," which would seek to root out President Bush's abuses.
“The Bush Administration’s approach to power is, at its core, little more than a restatement of Mr. Nixon’s famous rationalization of presidential misdeeds: 'When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal,'" Conyers wrote in the report's foreward.