Skip to comments.(Tammy) Baldwin (D, WI) puts Cheney Ouster on the Table
Posted on 12/16/2007 4:10:52 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and two other senior members of the House Judiciary Committee have called for the immediate opening of impeachment hearings for Vice President Richard Cheney.
Baldwin and fellow Democrats Robert Wexler of Florida and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois on Friday distributed a statement, "A Case for Hearings," that declares, "The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our Constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens."
In particular, the Judiciary Committee members cite the recent revelation by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan that the vice president and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent as part of a White House campaign to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson.
On the basis of McClellan's statements, Baldwin, Wexler and Gutierrez say, "it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice." The three House members argue that "Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to 'unknowingly (pass) along false information.' "
Adding to the sense of urgency, the members argue that "recent revelations have shown that the administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction -- this time about Iran's nuclear capabilities."
Although Baldwin, Wexler and Gutierrez are close to Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers, getting the Michigan Democrat to open hearings on impeachment will not necessarily be easy. Though Conyers was a leader in suggesting during the last Congress that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney had committed impeachable offenses, he has been under pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to keep constitutional remedies for executive excesses "off the table" in this Congress.
It is notable, however, that Baldwin maintains warm relations with Pelosi and that Wexler, a veteran member of the Judiciary Committee, has historically had an amiable and effective working relationship with Conyers. There is no question that Conyers, who voted to keep open the impeachment debate on Nov. 7, has been looking for a way to explore the charges against Cheney.
The move by three of his key allies on the committee may provide the chairman with the opening he seeks, although it is likely he will need to hear from more committee members before making any kind of break with Pelosi -- or perhaps convincing her that holding hearings on Cheney's high crimes and misdemeanors is different from putting a Bush impeachment move on the table.
The most important immediate development, however, may well be the assertion of an "ask" for supporters of impeachment. Pulled in many directions in recent months, campaigners for presidential and vice presidential accountability have focused their attention on supporting a House proposal by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nod, to impeach Cheney. When Kucinich forced consideration of his resolution on Nov. 7, Pelosi and her allies used procedural moves to get it sent to the Judiciary Committee for consideration. Pelosi's hope was that the proposal would disappear into the committee's files.
The call for hearings by Baldwin, Wexler and Gutierrez puts impeachment on the table, at least as far as activists are concerned, creating a pressure point that can serve as a reply when House Democrats who are critical of Bush but cautious about impeachment ask: "What do you want me to do?" The answer can now be: "Back the call for Judiciary Committee hearings on whether to impeach Dick Cheney?"
Baldwin, Wexler and Gutierrez wrote that "Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President Clinton's personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires."
They argued that "a Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment -- where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations -- would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise."
The three House members said that the charges against Cheney are not personal: "They go to the core of the actions of this administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did."
They cited a Nov. 13 poll by the American Research Group which reported that 70 percent of voters said that Cheney has abused his powers and 43 percent said that he should be removed from office immediately.
"The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act," the trio said. "It is time for Congress to catch up."
Arguing that hearings need not distract Congress, Baldwin, Wexler and Gutierrez note that the focus is on Cheney for a reason: "These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the vice president -- not our commander in chief -- and the resulting impact on the nation's business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton presidential impeachment hearings."
The trio also suggests that the hearings are necessary if Congress is to restore its position in the constitutionally defined system of checks and balances.
"Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence -- not politics -- should determine the outcome," the Judiciary Committee members explain. "Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an administration that has consistently skirted the Constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it."
Most of these clowns represent the enemy within.
They need to do some work for a change
blah blah blah.
Out of any group of 435 people there are bound to be a few nitwits. Impeachment and other bits of idiocy have been proposed before and can’t even get a mention by their colleagues.
Trying to put that congressional approval rating under 10%....???
As usual, the donkey party is following the orders of its insane whacko lib loonies.
Another moonbat from Madison.
Who would have thunk it!
Here's what this American thinks. After 9/11, I thank God every day Gore or Kerry did not get elected.
have at it...
...It is definitely obvious these people have far too much time on their hands.
Democrats are insufferably stupid and small-minded. They’re a passel of idiots.
The people just can’t give it up. They can’t get a darn thing done for the good of the Country, they simply hate, hate, hate.
The events of which Baldwin speaks were investigated by a so-called "independent prosecutor". In any case I don't think they can impeach simply because they have a different opinion about the implementation of policy.
Let’s examine the stupidity in turn. . .
1. deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war,
Cheney said nothing that diverged dramatically from what Democrats said from 1998-2003 re: Iraq.
2. the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation
If the moron would read the Libby indictment, the moron would realize this moveon.organizationofidiots talking point was refuted last fitzmas.
3. the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.
To be illegal, a court has to declare the wiretapping such, and there is no decision on record holding such since Cater’s nitwit judge was overturned and the case dismissed.
In sum, this is nothing more then recycled BS moonbattery. I mean, why not bring out Cindy Sheehan again or throw in a little, “downing street documents” while they’re at it?!?!
Another phony scandal for the insane demoRATs to work up their
base of lock step morons.
I am so ashamed to say that I was born in Madison and raised in Middleton.
It is so populated with socialists now that I will never move back into the state.
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