“In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to … defend the Constitution … has purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests,” said Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), reading articles of impeachment against Cheney on the House floor Tuesday.xx After seeing his impeachment bill, H.R. 333, sit moldering in committee for a half year, Kucinich used a “privileged resolution” to bring it to the House floor for debate. But Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), before taking the House speakership this year, had declared that “impeachment is off the table.” And her lieutenant, Steney Hoyer (D-MD), moved to “table” the resolution, which in the House of Representatives means to delay it forever — to kill it. With just a minority of Democrats supporting the impeachment resolution, the motion to kill began sailing through — until a Republican congressman, John Shadegg got an idea.x “I’d like to know how far left [Democrats] are,” he said. “It seems to me they owe it to their base to have an up-or-down vote.” So Republicans began voting _against_ killing the bill, and the bill survived. But they failed to get the debate and subsequent vote to reject the bill, when nearly all Democrats voted to send it back to the Judiciary Committee, from where it came. But now the bill has a new number (H.R. 799) and a new breath of life. Committee member Robert Wexler (D-FL), who is not among the 22 co-sponsors of the impeachment bill, said, “The American people are served well with a legitimate and thorough impeachment inquiry. I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months.”x Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), who as ranking member last year had compiled a thorough report supporting impeachment, has so far followed Pelosi in suppressing the issue. But he recently told an impeachment lobbyist, “I really want you to convince me to do this.”xx On Friday, Kucinich wrote to Conyers:x
bq. Recent reports indicate that the Vice President is attempting to shape the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran to conform to his misperceptions about the threat Iran actually poses. Much like his deceptive efforts in the lead up to the Iraq war, the Vice President appears to be manipulating intelligence to conform to his beliefs.
bq. If the reports are true, they add additional weight to the case for impeachment. I believe impeachment remains the only tool Congress has to prevent a war in Iran. This information relates directly to the Article III charges in the resolution. I urge your timely consideration.
Seven of 24 Democratic Judiciary Committee members have declared support for the impeachment bill so far, and 14 voted against killing it.x Outside the D.C. beltway, 76% of Democrats, 17% of Republicans, and 54% of all adult Americans support the move to impeach Cheney, as shown in a July 2007 poll.x If the citizenry and the Democratic fighters prevail, the Judiciary Committee would begin impeachment hearings, as it would dawn on House Republicans that their tricky vote had backfired. And Congress would begin to choose rightly between, as Kucinich put it, “Constitutionally proscribed justice and recourse, and the alternative: Constitutional abuse and dictatorial power.”x
fn30. “‘House Resolution 333 Impeaching Richard B. Cheney’ – pdf”:http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int3.pdf
fn31. “‘Backstory: An impeachment vote turnaround stuns Washington’ by Nick Juliano, Raw Story, Wednesday November 7, 2007”:http://rawstory.com/news/2007/GOP_troublemakers_save_impeachment_measure_1107.html
fn32. “‘House GOP tests Democrats with impeachment resolution’ By Sean Lengell and Eric Pfeiffer, The Washington Times,
November 7, 2007”:http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20071107/NATION/111070033/1002/NATION
fn33. “‘Conyers’ Report Newly Updated: ‘Constitution in Crisis” 2006-08-01″:http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/constitutionincrisis
fn34. “‘Reps Conyers/Ellison/Waters Discuss Impeachment’ by Jennifer Umolac of ImpeachforPeace.org”:http://impeachforpeace.org/impeach_bush_blog/?p=3923
fn35. “‘Congressman Kucinich writes letter to Judiciary Committee head supporting impeachment of Vice President Cheney’ RAW STORY, Saturday November 10, 2007”:http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Congressman_Kucinich_writes_letter_to_Judiciary_1110.html
fn36. “‘Wexler (FL-19) v. Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) on Impeachment’ by Meteor Blades, Daily Kos, Thu Nov 08, 2007”:http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/11/8/141239/890
fn37. “‘Judiciary Hearing Cheney Impeachment’ Thursday, November 08, 2007 – FreeMarketNews.com”:http://www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=51219
fn38. “American Research Group poll”:http://americanresearchgroup.com/impeach/
bq. “Question: Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney?
|All Adults |54% |40% |6%|
|Voters |50% |44% |6%|
|Democrats (38%) |76% |24% |-|
|Republicans (29%)|17% |83% |-|
|Independents (33%)|51% |29% |20%|
bq. Based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of adults nationwide July 3-5, 2007. The theoretical margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, 95% of the time. Of the total sample, 933 interviews were completed among registered voters.
fn39. “‘It’s Time to Impeach Cheney’ by by Dennis Kucinich, November 5, 2007”:http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_dennis_k_071105_it_s_time_to_impeach.htm,