Attorney General Eric Holder should expand a special prosecutor's investigation into detainee abuse during the Bush administration to include high-ranking officials like Vice President Dick Cheney, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday.

Nadler defended Holder's decision last week to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the abuse and potential torture conducted by CIA officials during the Bush administration.

"My criticism of the attorney general is that he should not limit the investigation to people in the field who may have committed torture, but to people who may have ordered it, such as the vice president, for example," Nadler said during an interview on Fox News.

Cheney has been a vocal defender of work done during the Bush administration to extract information from terrorist detainees, most recently appearing on "Fox News Sunday" to blast Holder's decision.

"It's an outrageous political act that will do great damage, long-term, to our capacity to be able to have people take on difficult jobs, make difficult decisions, without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say," Cheney said.

Nadler otherwise defended Holder's decision, saying it was the attorney general's obligation to investigate potential violations of the law during the Bush administration.