Impeachment Scorecard

On December 8, 2006, George W. Bush became one of several U.S. presidents to face an impeachment action, when Rep. Cynthia McKinney brought a resolution to the House floor1x19. Her impeachment resolution cited Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for cooking intelligence to support their policy of war against Iraq, and Bush for NSA domestic warrantless wiretapping. “Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress,” she said2. “But this is not about political gamesmanship. This, instead, is about beginning the long road back to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our great country was founded.” The 109th Congress tabled McKinney’s stab at the direct route, but two other routes to impeachment may be taken in the new 110th Congress. One, described in the House Manual of Rules, comes from a state legislature that passes an impeachment petition, which is then carried to the House floor by a congressman3. Such a petition takes priority over all other business, and the House would at once debate the issue. Four states – Illinois, California, Vermont and Minnesota – have such petitions pending, and New Mexico, where Democrats hold a strong majority in both houses, will reportedly introduce one this week4x5x6x7x8. In addition to cooking intelligence and warrantless wiretapping, these resolutions all cite torture and imprisonment without charge as impeachment counts. Lastly, there is the conventional route to impeachment from the House Judiciary Committee. The current chairman of the committee, the long-serving John Conyers, sat there in 1974, when he helped vote articles of impeachment of President Nixon to the House floor10x11. One week after that vote, Nixon resigned12. In December 2005, Conyers brought forward a bill to form a select committee to investigate and, if warranted, recommend impeachment charges against Bush administration officials13. Asked why he did so, when the measure could hardly move forward in a Congress controlled by highly partisan Republicans, he said: “To take away the excuse that we didn’t know. So that two or four or ten years from now, if somebody should ask, ‘Where were you, Conyers, and where was the United States Congress when the Bush Administration declared the Constitution inoperative and revoked the license of parliamentary government?’, none of the company now present can plead ignorance or temporary insanity, can say that ‘somehow it escaped our notice that the President was setting himself up as a supreme leader exempt from the rule of law14.’” Conyers later, in August 2006, issued an up-to-date 350-page report listing and documenting possible impeachable offenses15. If the Congress moved forward on impeachment, it would have the support of many citizens, some of whom have signed petitions, passed impeachment resolutions in last year’s elections, and had their town and city councils pass impeachment resolutions16x17. Just before last year’s national election, a Newsweek poll showed broad support for impeachment. Although Newsweek twisted the story to downplay it, a majority of citizens (51% – 44%) favored impeaching Bush18.

Scorecard

The table below shows the content of Congressional and state impeachment resolutions introduced, and impeachment resolutions passed as local ballot issues. It does not show the 24 resolutions passed by town and city councils across the nation (in CA, VT, NY, NC, NH, MA & WA). Letter codes show the civil officers to be impeached: B = Bush, C = Cheney, R = Rice, X = any indicated after investigation. Column numbers refer to the High Crimes and Misdemeanors in the following list:

  • 1. NSA domestic warrantless wiretapping.
  • 2. Cooking intelligence for Iraq war.
  • 3. Torture.
  • 4. Imprisonment without charge.
  • 5. Thwarting Congress’ attempts to get info.
  • 6. Retaliating against critics.
  • 7. Outing Valerie Plame; leaking classified info to promote policy.
  • 8. Intent to go to war without Congress’ approval.
  • 9. Kidnappings and rendition for torture.
  • 10. Negligent response to Hurricane Katrina.
  • 11. Signing statements to exempt self from laws.
  • 12. Illegal detention of non-citizens, ignoring court order.
  • 13. Use of illegal weapons.
  • 14. FBI spying on citizens.
  • 15. Forming an illegal parallel legal system.
  • 16. Violation of treaties.
  • 17. Fake news reports & reporters.
  • 18. Exceeding war authority given by Congress.
  • 19. Illegally invading Iraq.
  • 20. Federalizing the National Guard.

High Crime or Misdemeanor
Resolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
McKinney1 B B
C
R
McKinney
Addendum19
B B B B B B B B B B B B B
Conyers
Select
Committee13
X X X X
Conyers
Report15
X X X X X X
IL4 B B B B B
CA5 B B
C
B
C
B
C
B
C
B B B
VT6 B B B B
MN7 B B B B B
NM8 B B
C
B
C
B
C
Berkeley20
CA
B
C
B
C
B
C
B
C
B
C
B
C
San Francisco21 B B
C
B B
Champaign
IL22
B
C
B
C
B
C
B
C
Urbana
IL22
B
C
B
C
B
C
B
C
Times
Cited
13 12 11 8 5 4 4 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Sources

1 McKinney impeachment resolution – 2006-12-08 – pdf file

2 Rep. McKinney’s floor statement on the impeachment of George W. Bush

3 ‘Impeachment: Methods For Your Madness’ – DailyKos.com, 2006-02-04

4 Illinois impeachment resolution

5 California impeachment resolution – pdf file

6 Vermont impeachment resolution

7 Minnesota impeachment resolution

8 ‘States to the fore!’ – GreenMountainDaily.com Contains New Mexico impeachment resolution

10 Articles of Impeachment Adopted by the Committee on the Judiciary, July 27, 1974

11 Analysis of the Impeachment Votes of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives

12 Watergate Chronology

13 Conyers resolution for select committee on impeachment – 2005-12-18″

14 ‘The Case for Impeachment’ by Lewis H. Lapham, Harper’s Magazine, March 2006 issue

15 Conyers’ Report Newly Updated: ‘Constitution in Crisis’ – 2006-08-01

16 ImpeachBush.org petition 847,694 signed as of 2007-01-21.

17 Resolutions Supporting Impeachment – List of Those Passed and Introduced

18 ‘Are the Faithful Losing Faith?’ – Newsweek, October, 2006

Newsweek should have reported simply that Americans favor impeaching Bush by 51% to 44%, and could have rightly made that the headline – Poll: Most Favor Impeaching Bush. Instead, Newsweek wrote:

Other parts of a potential Democratic agenda receive less support, especially calls to impeach Bush: 47 percent of Democrats say that should be a “top priority,” but only 28 percent of all Americans say it should be, 23 percent say it should be a lower priority and nearly half, 44 percent, say it should not be done.

19 McKinney’s addendum to impeachment resolution

20 Berkeley, CA impeachment resolution – pdf file

21 San Francisco impeachment resolution – pdf file

22 Champaign, IL and Urbana, IL impeachment resolutions

* * *

By Quinn Hungeski – Posted at G.N.N. & TheParagraph.com

2 comments for “Impeachment Scorecard

  1. quinn
    January 24, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    “New Mexico impeachment bill faces early hurdles”:http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/17685

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