Creating people's geographies
A few recent articles on impeachment (hopefully they might lead to articles of impeachment). With the ongoing mess in Iraq, the belligerent stance towards Iran, various scandals involving Plame/ Libby/ Gonzales/ wire-tapping and GWB threatening to veto Congress on its troop pull-out timetable, not to mention unconstitutional roll-backs on civil liberties and the threat of endless war, the issue is not going to go away, whether it gets off the ground or not before 2009.
The article I excerpt from below is by former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who currently practises law in NYC. Notably, she was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment hearings. Holtzman is coauthor with Cynthia L. Cooper of The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens.
Two other recent articles you may be interested in are; John Nichols (editor of The Nation and author of The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders Cure for Royalism), Getting Serious About the I Word, The Nation, 27 March 2007 and Richard W. Behan, Impeachment and Patriotism, ICH, 20 March 2007.
With prominent Republican Senators speaking out against a scandal-plagued White House, talk of impeachment has moved from the margins to the mainstream. That may seem politically far-fetched, but in fact, there is a strong case to be made.
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Should he be impeached? The legal case is strong, and the political case is getting stronger. The latest Bush administration scandal—the firing of eight U.S. attorneys under highly questionable circumstances—has Washington abuzz with talk of a new Watergate. The question on everyone’s mind is: Could this be the president’s Saturday night massacre—the obstruction of justice that triggers impeachment?
Unless there is a sea change in Congress, talk of impeachment is largely a hypothetical exercise. That does not mean there’s no legal case against the president. If a California prosecutor were fired to end an investigation of a Republican congressman, that might be a crime. If the others were fired for failing to prosecute Democrats without evidence, that would be a gross abuse of power. If President George W. Bush played any role, impeachment is a legal possibility.
We need not wait for the outcome of investigations of this scandal, however, to conclude that President Bush has so abused the powers of his office that he could be impeached and removed from office. There are already other substantial grounds.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution knew that despite powerful checks, presidents might still abuse their powers and damage the country’s democracy, so they created impeachment as the ultimate safeguard. Constitutional grounds for impeachment are “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” During Nixon’s impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee determined that abuses did not have to violate the criminal code to meet this test. They simply needed to be, as the framers said in constitutional debates, “great and dangerous offenses that subvert the Constitution.” Several of the president’s actions already qualify.
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