Ed Henry Hits Earnest AGAIN: If Torture Occurred, Is It ‘Cowardly’ If Obama Does Not Prosecute Them? [VIDEO]

Al Weaver | Reporter

In their second straight day of sparring, Fox News host Ed Henry grilled White House spokesman Josh Earnest over the administration’s stance against prosecuting individuals who tortured detainees, even though the W.H. is staunchly against the practice. Henry asked Earnest if the White House is being “cowardly” by not prosecuting the those involved with torturing the detainees, with the press secretary pushing back, saying it’s the job of “career federal prosecutors” to do that.

ED HENRY: “I want to ask a little bit about why there haven’t been prosecutions as well. The ACLU is saying that putting out this report and talking about it is not enough. They’re saying there should be prosecutions for people who approved these brutal tactics. Isn’t it cowardly for the administration to basically say the law was broken, there was torture, and yet, we’re just simply not going to prosecute anyone. If you really believe the law was broken, why isn’t the president making sure that the law is followed from here on out on torture by prosecuting people.”

JOSH EARNEST: “The determination about whether or not the law has been broken is made by a career prosecutor. Federal prosecutors have looked into this. They reviewed all the evidence, including all of the evidence that was considered by the committee that wrote this report. What those federal prosecutors have said is that they did not find sufficient evidence to indict anyone. That is their decision.”

HENRY: “Chris Anders of the ACLU is saying if the Justice Department looked at this Senate report. He says there is 500 pages of crime after crime. The president is basically, by banning this on his second day in office as he’s said over and over again, that he believes this is against the law. And there’s now over 500 pages in the public domain saying there’s crime after crime. So how can the Justice Department look at that if you really believe that the law was broken here? How can they not…”

EARNEST: “If you have questions about the Justice Department investigation, you should consult with them. The president was not making a legal…”

HENRY: “Was it common sense though? The president was saying this is outside the law, I had to ban it. And now we have 500 pages saying the law was broken.”

EARNEST: “Lets be real clear about what the president was saying. The president was saying that these tactics were entirely inconsistent with our values as Americans, and that they undermine our moral authority, which is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal to protect the American people. The president was definitive about that. That’s why he outlawed these tactics on his second full day in office. The questions about legality are questions that should be answered by federal career prosecutors outside of any political influence or interference. This is their decision to make. They reviewed all the evidence. But for the conclusions that they reached, and why they reached those conclusions, you should check with them. I do think they’d be willing to talk about that.”

HENRY: “The president himself weighs in on immigration, for example. He says again and again, America is a nation of laws. If the law is broken, why is he not making sure that people pay a price for that?”

EARNEST: “Because the way that our law, the way that our system of criminal justice works is that we have federal career politician prosecutors, who are insulated from political pressure who can go back and look into these matters and dig into them, and they looked at the same evidence that was reviewed by the committee that wrote this report, and you can talk to them about their conclusions and why they reached them. The president reached his own conclusion though about whether or not these tactics were consistent with American values. He decided that they were not, and that’s why on his second full day in office, he unequivocally banned them from use, and has been, ever since, working to rebuild our moral authority across the globe. To rebuild the kind of relationships that took a hit as a result of these tactics, and I think because of those efforts, because of our commitment to living up to those values, we’ve made the country safer.”

Tags : ed henry josh earnest torture
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