On June 6, 2008, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives launched a hearing on the issue of presidential torture and sought to get clarification from former Bush attorneys who provided the president with legal counsel on the matter. However, the Bush administration attorneys were reluctant to answer questions.
David Addington, who served as Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff, told Jerry Nadler that it was not his place to give the Judiciary Committee legal advice as they had their own attorneys for that. Perhaps, the toughest line of questioning was reserved for Professor John Yoo who served in the Department of Justice from 2001 to 2003. Yoo gave President Bush legal advice on torture based on precedents established in prior federal cases. However, the democrats on the committee appeared more intent on getting Yoo to acknowledge a right that President Bush never asserted – the right to torture the children of terror suspects to obtain information and bury terror suspects alive as an interrogation method.
Yoo concluded that his tenure in the DOJ never addressed such matters and that trying to give an opinion now would be inappropriate. That did not stop Democrats on the Judiciary Committee from accusing Yoo of playing games to run out the five minute block of time he had for answering questions.