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Daily Impeachment News:

March 19, 2008

Conyers: Obama’s More Important Than Justice, Impeach Later

Filed under: Impeachment Progress News — Jodin Morey @ 8:58 am

By Josiah Ryan, CNSNews.com [CNSNews has since removed the article] – At a gathering of liberal activists in Washington on Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) was asked if he would commit to holding the Bush administration accountable once a Democrat is in the White House and illegal acts have been pinned on President Bush.

“Yes, you have my word on that,” Conyers replied. He then shook the questioner’s hand as a sign of his commitment.

Conyers, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told an audience at the liberal Take Back America Conference that he is wrestling with the idea of beginning impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney, but he believes that such an effort might hamper Sen. Barack Obama’s chance of winning the presidency.

However, Conyers guaranteed his liberal audience that he will pursue legal action against Bush after the November elections.

“There are those who said, if you elect Democrats to Congress, we will guarantee you two things: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y) will become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and he will raises taxes; and Conyers will become chairman of the Judiciary and he will impeach President George W. Bush,” Conyers said. “You want to make them half right?”

The audience replied with thirty seconds of hearty applause. Conyers was speaking at a panel discussion entitled “The Republic Against the Rogue Presidency.”

“Dear friends, this [impeachment] is a decision I am struggling with, and I want to share it here. Do I want to jeopardize the election by taking up this issue?” Conyers asked. “The problem is, this could become the issue of the 2008 election. This brilliant, talented Senator (Obama), who has more delegates and more votes than anybody else, could get derailed.”

When Cybercast News Service asked Conyers to clarify the statement, he said, “I am afraid they would raise it in the campaign, and that they will use it against us, and that we would end up getting McCain. I would regret that for the rest of my life,” he said. “That’s the only reason. That would be my fear.”

But Conyers told Cybercast News Service this does not mean the Bush administration will not be held accountable. “We can win this election and go get these guys afterwards. But we just don’t want to jeopardize November 4th,” he said.

Different panelists offered perspectives on why they think President Bush deserves to be brought before a court.

David Cole, a law professor at Yale University and a legal correspondent for The Nation magazine, said Bush’s refusal to yield to the constitutional system of checks and balances is one of his biggest crimes.

President Bush has decided he has “unilateral, uncheckable power with respect to the enemy,” Cole said. “The only checks and balances this president believes in is check and balances within the White House,” he added.

Conyers has his own list of complaints against the Bush administration. “You get cocky, you get arrogant and you think you can do anything. And frequently you will try to do anything,” he said.

Conyers told the crowd there is one scenario that could trigger immediate impeachment proceedings against the president: “If Bush goes into Iran he should be impeached,” Conyers said, noting that “many members of Congress” have signed their names to a letter warning Bush not to invade Iran.

The fifth annual Take Back America Conference includes forums that allow liberals to discuss important issues, including how to recover from the “ashes of this conservative era,” as the Web site put it.

Conyers is one of the Bush administration’s chief antagonists in Congress, opposing the president on almost every issue, including the Iraq war, health care, terrorist surveillance, and other issues.

Just last week, his Judiciary Committee took the rare step of filing a civil lawsuit against former White House aides Joshua Bolten and Harriet Miers for failing to obey a committee subpoena. Conyers wants to force the two to testify about the firings of nine federal prosecutors in 2006.

The House cited Bolten and Miers for contempt of Congress last month.


6 Comments

  1. One excuse after another. If this happens I’ll move for impeachment, if that happens, etc, etc. After the elections you know there will be another excuse not to hold them accountable. Sometime after Conyers wrote his book on impeachment the other side got to him. That’s all there is to it and we are wasting our time going to Conyers over and over.

    Comment by Mark Manley — March 19, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  2. The Congress is scared of Bush. He knows how corrupt they are and they do not want their criminal behavior exposed. Even if Bush tried to Impeach Bush, Bush would declare martial law, fire congress, and declare himself King. King George will get really mad. World War 3

    Comment by MARK — March 19, 2008 @ 11:58 am

  3. Conyers is convinced that the threat of impeachment is more powerful than impeachment itself. Whether or not that is true, he doesn’t have the prerogative to enforce the law or not. It isn’t his choice to support and defend the Constitution or not. He is a public servant and by putting politics ahead of justice, he is aiding and abetting the endangerment of everything America used to stand for and only will again someday if he and others do their duty and stand up for the rule of law.

    Comment by Mikael — March 19, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  4. There are enough reasons that George Bush (and Dick Cheney)should be impeached.And forme, the most important one is that impeachment will prevent this adinistration to create more havoc, like attacking Iran.
    Fear for negatve consequences of impeachment like Bush declaring martial law or Obama loosing the elections should not prevent the Democrats from going for impeachment.

    Comment by Zanshin Post — July 13, 2008 @ 12:43 am

  5. […] While speaking on the topic of impeachment Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) promised that after the November 4 elections, he would pursue legal actions against the Bush administration. Conyers is in a unique position to initiate impechment. As the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee (the body which would be responsible for initiating impeachment), he has been the sole obstacle to impeachment occurring ever since he and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, Speaker of the House) took Impeachment “off the table.” […]

    Pingback by Impeach Bush For Peace » Rep. Conyers Promises Post-election Impeachment Hearings — November 10, 2008 @ 9:30 am

  6. Wow. I just discovered this article on the internet. Impeach Bush. Wow. Now look what the Democrats have given us. The first Communist President since Lyndon Johnson.

    Comment by Michael Ray Thompson — October 4, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

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Arguments Against Bush Impeachment...

• If we impeach Bush, we’ll get President Cheney!
The first impeachment resolution introduced by McKinney included Bush, Cheney, and Rice. Although, even if we only initially pursue Bush, initiating the impeachment process will lead to an investigation that will implicate lots of people in the Bush administration who are guilty of committing crimes, including Cheney.

No matter who we get to replace Bush, we’ll be showing those in power that anyone who breaks the law will be held accountable.

• Promoting impeachment will seem too “extreme.”
Demanding that crimes be investigated is NOT extreme. Some previous impeachment attempts were considered extreme because they were pursued for actions that didn't rise to the level of a Constitutional crisis, which is what the impeachment tool is meant to be used for. Nixon's impeachment, however, was bipartisan.

  • We should wait to impeach...
Wait to impeach? We've waited 3 or more years too long already. We had enough evidence to impeach years ago. Remember, an impeachment only means you have enough evidence to warrant a trial, just like an indictment. Our congress people didn't take an oath to bipartisanship. They took an oath to the Constitution. Besides which, our troops, Iraqi civilians, and our own civil liberties are all waiting for this.
 
• Before we impeach, we should get some legislation passed...
And with unconstitutional Presidential Signing Statements, veto power, and the power of "Commander in Chief" at his disposal, how do you think Congress is going to get anything accomplished without first impeaching Bush?

If your tire blows while you're driving, do you stop to fix it? Or do you continue driving on your rim because to stop would take too much time?

• It hurts the democracy to go through a presidential impeachment. And Bush is a lame duck anyway.
Holding government officials accountable for their actions strengthens our democracy. Letting lawlessness stand weakens it.

Sometimes reprimanding a child (president) doesn't make the family (Washington) a happy place. But you still have to do it so the child and his siblings (future presidents) learn about accountability. Impeachment is horribly UNDERUSED, which is part of why there's so much corruption at the top. Politicians must learn to fear it. People think things are better because we improved the make-up of our law-making body, Congress. But Bush is BREAKING LAWS. So, it doesn't matter how many laws Congress passes if they don't serve their OVERSIGHT duties as well by impeaching. They swore to defend the Constitution. What are laws without enforcement?

Besides, considering Bush's track-record of breaking laws, he can still do a lot of damage. Our troops, Iran, and our Supreme Court are all endangered so long as he remains in office. Waiting until Bush is out of office will leave us complicit in any further crimes he commits. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that the death toll from a "tactical" nuclear weapon of the kind Bush is contemplating using in Iran would be at minimum 3 million men, women, and children. The path of death would stretch across country boundaries into India.

Perhaps worst of all, we set a terrible precedent by allowing Bush to stay in office after he's broken so many laws. Impeachment will stop future presidents from using Bush's actions as justification for even more lawbreaking and erosion of civil liberties.

• I'm a Democrat/
Republican. If we support impeachment it will lower the chances of my party winning in 2008.

So, your party would rather win elections than do what's right for the country? I hope you're wrong. I also hope the public is willing to throw additional support to any party that holds our elected officials accountable for their actions. This has been historically true with every single impeachment effort launched. And this impeachment effort would begin with majority support (unlike most past impeachments including Nixon).

• Impeachment will never happen. Congress members will block it.
Well, all we need is a majority of support in the House. And 2/3rds vote in the Senate to remove Bush from office will happen once the evidence gets aired on the floor of the House, and subsequently the national media outlets. The political pressure will become too great.

Today's impossibility is tomorrow's reality. Congress members will realize that tying their political future to Bush reduces their chances of getting elected. Remember, one way or another, Bush is gone by 2009— but members of Congress may retain their offices beyond that date. Bush's poll numbers are extremely low, and most Americans support impeachment. This is a bipartisan movement. This means that if we make the pressure unbearable for Members of Congress, they'll turn on him to keep their own seats (like they did with Nixon). It's already starting to happen. While many Members of Congress have behaved unethically in the last few years, it's important to understand that this is related to their warped view of what's in their self-interest. Let's wake them up to their true self-interest (impeaching the president), by showing them our support for impeachment.

And even if we only impeach, and the Senate fails to do their duty and remove him from office, it will only implicate the Senators who fail to do their sworn Constitutional duty.

• But Speaker of the House Pelosi said that Impeachment was "off the table."

Pelosi most likely said this to remove any appearance of conflict-of-interest that would arise if she were thrust into the presidency as a result of the coming impeachment. What we need to do is to pressure Pelosi not to interfere with impeachment maneuverings within her party. Sending her Do-It-Yourself impeachments legitimizes her when she joins the impeachment movement in the future.

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