Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Congressman and former 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate, said he would continue to introduce resolutions calling for the removal of President George W. Bush from office if the articles of impeachment against Bush that he presented to the House Monday is not taken up within 30 days or dies in committee.
On Monday, Kucinich introduced the articles of impeachment against President Bush in the form of a privileged resolution, a procedural maneuver requiring Congress to take up the measure within two legislative days. Kucinich spent four-hours reading 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush, accusing the commander-in-chief of a wide-range of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” such as lying to Congress and the public to win support for the Iraq war.
Congressman Robert Wexler, (D-Fla.), agreed to co-sponsor of the measure Tuesday.
Congress voted 251-166 Wednesday to send the articles of impeachment to a House Judiciary Committee for review where it’s expected to die.
But Kucinich said if that happens he will just introduce another resolution until lawmakers vote on the measure.
“Leadership wants to bury it, but this is one resolution that will be coming back from the dead,” Kucinich told the Washington Post Wednesday. “Thirty days from now, if there is no action, I will be bringing the resolution up again, and I won’t be the only one reading it. We’ll come back and many of us will be reading this [on the House floor], and we’ll come back with 60 articles, not 35.”
In a statement Wednesday, Kucinich urged the House Judiciary Committee to “begin a review of the 35 articles” and said he “will be providing supporting documentation to the committee so that it can proceed in an orderly manner.”
Kucinich said he expects to meet with Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers within a week to for the committee to vote on the measure. A resolution Kucinich sponsored last year to impeach Cheney was sent to Conyers’ committee but was not debated.
Conyers, as well as others in the Democratic leadership, has opposed initiating impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Conyers has said the House simply does not have enough votes to support impeachment, and therefore, pursuing it would be a waste of time.
He did, however, state in a letter sent to President Bush on May 8, that he would pursue impeachment if the president were to launch a military strike against Iran without first receiving approval or consulting Congress about the matter.
“Late last year, Senator Joseph Biden stated unequivocally that “the president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach” the president.
“We agree with Senator Biden, and it is our view that if you do not obtain the constitutionally required congressional authorization before launching preemptive military strikes against Iran or any other nation, impeachment proceedings should be pursued,” Conyers’ letter says.
Kucinich said the articles of impeachment against President Bush are a way for lawmakers to “create an historical record of the misconduct of the Bush administration.”
“The weight of evidence contained in the articles makes it clear that President Bush violated the Constitution and the U.S. Code as well as international law,” Kucinich said in a prepared statement.
“It is the House’s responsibility as a co-equal branch of government to provide an effective check and balance to executive abuse of power,” Kucinich continued in the statement. “President Bush was principally responsible for directing the United States Armed Forces to attack Iraq.”
“I believe that there is sufficient evidence in the articles to support the charge that President Bush allowed, authorized and sanctioned the manipulation of intelligence by those acting under his direction and control, misleading Congress to approve a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq,” he added.
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is “off the table” because it would hinder the Democrats’ chances of securing a bigger majority in Congress come November and could result in a public backlash and cause the party to lose the November presidential election.
“Speaker Pelosi will continue to lead legislative efforts to find a new direction in Iraq but believes that impeachment would create a divisive battle, be a distraction from Congress’s efforts to chart a new course for America’s working families and would ultimately fail,” Pelosi’s spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer Tuesday.
Congress has not considered impeachment because the Democratic leadership believes it will hurt their party’s chances of securing the White House in November’s hotly contested presidential election between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence agreed. Last week, the committee released a long-awaited report on prewar Iraq intelligence that concluded President Bush and Vice President Cheney knowingly lied to the public and to Congress about Iraq’s links to al-Qaeda and the threat the country posed to the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11.
That would be an impeachable offense, according to former Nixon counsel John Dean.
“To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked,” Dean wrote in a June 6, 2003 column for findlaw.com.
“Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be “a high crime” under the Constitution’s impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony “to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.