The People v. Bush
One Lawyer’s Campaign to Bring the President to Justice and the National Grassroots Movement She Encounters Along the Way
"Many in this country thought the worst thing a president could do was have an extramarital affair and lie about it. But Charlotte Dennett begged to differ. In The People v. Bush she tells the story of her idealistic campaign, beginning in 'the brave little state of Vermont,' to hold President George W. Bush accountable for the lives of American soldiers and Iraqis who died in a war launched under false pretenses. In a time where too few take even a small risk for larger principles, we can all learn something from this conscientious and resolute woman."
—Russ Baker, investigative journalist and author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years
When journalist-turned-lawyer Charlotte Dennett became outraged that Bush White House officials were acting above the law, she did something that surprised even herself. She ran for a state attorney general seat on a platform to prosecute George W. Bush for murder. She lost the race, but found a movement—one that continues its quest to hold leaders accountable to U.S. law and preserve a Constitutional presidency.
In The People v. Bush, Dennett recounts her seminal effort to prosecute the former president, introduces readers to a world where the actions of a few can indeed empower the many, and reports on the current state of the movement to hold Bush accountable for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Dennett’s wild ride through politics began when she read The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by lawyer Vincent Bugliosi (best known for his prosecution of Charles Manson). In it, Bugliosi stated that one path to prosecuting George W. Bush could be taken by a state attorney general—should one take up the cause. Soon after, Dennett launched her attorney-general race in Vermont—a state known as much for its progressive edge as its pioneering spirit—signed up Bugliosi as her special prosecutor in the event that she won, and together the two made headlines across Vermont and the nation for changing the face of American grassroots democracy.
Dennett’s book also explores the political triumphs of other Vermonters such as Kurt Daims, who imagined, with two human rights lawyers, Bush’s arrest should he enter the town of Brattleboro; Dan DeWalt, who launched a call for impeachment in thirty-six towns; and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who received wide support—but also criticism—for his 9/11 Truth Commission. With these stories and her own, Dennett shows that it’s not just possible but necessary to hold higher-ups responsible for heinous acts—not out of revenge, but to preserve justice.