01/21/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Biden On Prosecution Of Bush Officials: "Not Ruling It Out"

In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopolous, Joe Biden said he was 'not ruling out' prosecutions for Bush administration officials over torture.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Senate Armed Services Committee last week had a unanimous report that said that the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, at Guantanamo, at prisons around the world is a direct and indirect result of decisions made by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high officials. Should they be prosecuted for that?

BIDEN: First of all, that's a judgment, remember, four years ago on your program I made, so I haven't changed my mind. And this confirms.

But the questions of whether or not a criminal act has been committed or a very, very, very bad judgment has been engaged in is -- is something the Justice Department decides.

Barack Obama and I are -- President-elect Obama and I are not sitting thinking about the past. We're focusing on the future. Obviously, that if the Justice...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But should the cases be reviewed?

BIDEN: Well, that's a decision I'd look to the Justice Department to make.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're not ruling it out at this point?

BIDEN: I'm not ruling it in and not ruling it out. I just think we should look forward. I think we should be looking forward, not backwards.

Newsweek reported recently that Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft could soon face "legal jeopardy" for their role in abusive interrogations.