Senator: OPR Torture Report Likely To Be “Devastating”

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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) went on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last night, to talk about the fallout from the release last week of the Bush administration’s torture memos. And his appearance added to the growing sense that pressure is mounting to hold the memos’ authors accountable.

Whitehouse, who sits on the Senate Judiciary committee, did temporarily pour a little bit of cold water on the spate of calls to impeach Jay Bybee, the author of one of the memos, who is now a federal judge. He said that it’s “certainly possible” that Bybee should be impeached, but that first, we should wait for the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility to release its long-held report into the authorship of the memos.But he added that the report’s release “can’t be more than a few weeks away,” and that he has “every reason to believe it will be a devastating opinion.”

And he seemed eager to downplay President Obama’s prior statements that he favors looking ahead, saying that Justice Department lawyers will decide, on a case by case basis, whether there’s enough evidence to charge Bush officials.

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