This could be just a Joe Biden gaffe but Joe Biden is threatening to prosecute the Bush administration for crimes they allegedly committed. This could definitely be a first in campaign dirt – a candidate actually wanting to prosecute his predecessor?

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said earlier this week that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November.

Biden’s comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

But his statements represent the Democrats’ strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years.

When asked during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, whether he would “pursue the violations that have been made against our Constitution by the present administration”, Biden answered in the affirmative.

“We will not be stopped from pursuing any criminal offence that’s occurred,” he continued, going on to praise congressional committees for the deliberate pace of their inquiries into alleged Bush administration misdeeds.

Members of Congress are “doing the right thing, they’re not making false accusations about anything … they’re collecting data, subpoenaing records, they’re building a file”, Biden said.

“If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued – not out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president — no one is above the law.”

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