Archive for August, 2007

Holtzman: Attorney General Confirmation Should Include Special Prosecutor Investigation of Gonzales

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Just as Nixon’s impeachment began with the Watergate hearings and Clinton’s with the Starr investigation, impeachment of Bush and Cheney needs an investigation to convince a majority of House members to want to impeach.  Former House Judiciary Committee member Liz Holtzman helped get Nixon out of office and co-authored the Special Prosecutor law. This may be the road to impeachment. Read on:  

NEW YORK, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman served on the House Judiciary Committee during Nixon’s impeachment. She co-authored the 1973 special prosecutor statute, and co-wrote (with Cynthia L. Cooper) the 2006 book The Impeachment of George W. Bush (http://www.impeachbushbook.com). She made the following statement today:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has given us the worst, most lawless Justice Department since John Mitchell. Like Mitchell, who authorized the Watergate burglary and lied about it, Gonzales has earned his reputation as a staunchest of Bush loyalists, whose loyal services have seriously compromised the Department and may have included criminal activity: possible perjury before the Senate and other possible violations of law connected to the firing of US Attorneys, torture and mistreatment of detainees, warrantless wiretapping programs and other serious matters.

It appears the Senate Judiciary will have an opportunity to confirm a new nominee to replace the Attorney General. It can and should require as a condition of confirmation that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate possible crimes and abuses of power during Attorney General Gonzales‘ tenure.

There is ample precedent for the Senate Judiciary Committee to impose such conditions. In 1973, when John Mitchell’s successor as Attorney General Richard Kleindienst in turn stepped down amid Watergate scandals, the new nominee Elliott Richardson was brought before the committee for confirmation. The Committee agreed to confirm him on the condition a special prosecutor be appointed. On taking office, Attorney General Richardson duly appointed Archibald Cox to the position, whose investigations and summary dismissal ultimately resulted in President Nixon’s resignation.

While the United States needs to find and confirm a new Attorney General in a timely way, and would do well to choose someone who can restore a measure of confidence in the Justice Department, we cannot afford to simply “move on” from the debacles of the Gonzales era. Confirmation hearings will once again give the Senate the power to demand a special prosecutor be appointed to bring abuse of power and possible criminal activity into the light of public scrutiny. After suffering from the damage Attorney General Gonzales’ tenure has inflicted on our chief law enforcement agency, the American people need and deserve nothing less.

SOURCE Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman

Executive privilege does not apply in an impeachment inquiry

barbarajordan76.jpgHon. Barbara Jordan photo by Richard Avedon
One argument for impeachment is that it would force the Administration to hand over material it has been withholding by citing ‘executive privilege.’ Historically, executive privilege has been claimed by Presidents as a means of protecting the affairs of the White House from interference by Congress. They have argued that granting Congress access to ‘privileged’ communications between the President, the Vice President, and White House advisors would violate the Constitutionally mandated separation of powers among the three branches of government.In 1973, the House Judiciary Committee found that executive privilege does not extend to an impeachment inquiry, and in fact cited refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by Congress in the course of an impeachment inquiry in its Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon.”Article III charged that President Nixon, by failing, without lawful cause or excuse and in willfull disobedience of the subpoenas of the House, to produce papers and things that the Committee had subpoenaed in the course of its impeachment inquiry, assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the constitutional power of impeachment vested in the House.” (emphasis mine) Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States. The Final Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives.” House Report 93-1305, 93rd Congress, August 20, 1974.

Video: Takoma Park, MD citizens organize to Impeach Them!

Takoma Park, MD citizens organize to Impeach Them! The city council unanimously passes a resolution to Impeach Pres. Bush and VP Cheney. Includes citizen interviews before and after the vote, citizen comments during the hearing and the council vote. – 2nd Edition with soundtrack. TRT approximately 45mins.

Thanks NPR – Impeachment Segment Ran on NPR on Wednesday

logo_npr_125.gifThanks NPR! On Wednesday the NPR program Day to Day ran a balanced, accurate segment on impeachment that presented both sides (pro-impeachment and ‘it’s not going to go anywhere’). They even had Bruce Fein on saying Democrats are afraid of having 9-11 being used against them, etc. Unfortunately the show does not air where it counts – inside the Beltway. But let’s get in touch with them and thank them for this rare mainstream media coverage and encourage them to do more.

If Only Congress Had the Courage of Jeffery and Nicole Rank

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Jeffery and Nicole Rank recently settled with the federal government for $80,000 in the federal lawsuit they filed against the Secret Service. The couple was ousted in handcuffs from a Fourth of July Presidential speech in 2004 by order of the Secret Service. Their crime: Refusing to cover t-shirts they were wearing that expressed anti-Bush statements. The federal government has admitted no wrongdoing.

An article in today’s Washington Post reveals the existence of a “Presidential Advance Manual” marked Sensitive–Do not copy that contains instructions for volunteers on how to identify and silence dissenters in a crowd. The Ranks are American heroes who had the courage to fight for our First Amendment rights. Nicole Rank even lost her FEMA job as a result of their arrest (she has since been reinstated). We need to demand that our members of Congress become willing to risk THEIR jobs to defend the constitution. They did, after all, swear an oath to do so when they took office.

Byrd to Bush: “The Senate Can Send You Home. You’d Better Believe That.”

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Eighty-nine year-old Senator Byrd was talking impeachment before impeachment was cool.  Hear him discuss the little-reported “shadow government” set up secretly by the White House in 2001, the dangers of  an increasingly impotent Congress, and his amazing book Losing America with NPR’s Terry Gross in this 2004 interview.

 In April 2006 he gave a short speech in the Senate that included these words:

Despite more than two centuries of pressure to change and “modernize” the Senate, as an institution, it remains remarkably similar to the body created at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. It retains all of its original powers, including providing advice and consent — yes. You said it. You better read that again in the Constitution.

It retains all of its original powers, including providing advice and consent to Presidents on nominations and on treaties, serving as a court of impeachment–you better believe it, Mr. President. The Senate can send you home. You better believe that.

If the House impeaches you, the Senate will try you. The Senate, don’t forget it, serves as a court of impeachment and has an equal say with the House on legislation. The Senate has an equal say with the other body on legislation.

Rep. Ed Towns Joins Nineteen Other Patriots; Cosponsors Impeachment Bill

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Yesterday Rep. Ed Towns of Brooklyn, NY became the nineteenth cosponsor to Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s bill to impeach Dick Cheney. Some of his constituents share their secrets on what they did to encourage their Congressman to actually represent them. Read this for some very good advice and then Call Your Rep. just to say hi and by the way, you’d like him or her to defend the Constitution by supporting impeachment. Here in MD8 that is Chris Van Hollen

Read the article in Afterdowningstreet.org

By Dave Robinson of Brooklyn

Five of us Brooklyn people met with Congressman Ed Towns yesterday and successfully persuaded him to sign on to H. Res. 333. For what it’s worth here’s what worked with Ed. The same elements I think can only help you guys in dealing with YOUR REPS.

more>>

Cheney’s neighbors topple him in protest

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Talks Impeachment in Philadelphia

Listen to Rev. Lennox Yearwood

Impeachment Possible for Cheney and Gonzales

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by David Swanson at afterdowningstreet.org

Thanks to your help, already 19 Congress Members are cosponsoring H. Res. 333, articles of impeachment against Cheney. And an additional bill, H. Res. 589 has been introduced proposing the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. That bill already has 28 cosponsors, and Congressman Steve Cohen, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, is working with Bruce Fein, Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, to draft articles of impeachment against Gonzales.

Congress Members will be far more likely to take up the impeachment of Cheney or Gonzales when they return to Washington on September 4th if they have heard from you while they’re home for the month of August. Please phone, Email, and fax your Congress Member’s local district office right away. Ask for a meeting. Stop by uninvited. Encourage them to sign onto both H Res 333 and H Res 589 and/or to introduce their own bill for impeachment. You are more likely to persuade them with a face-to-face conversation this month than when they are back in D.C. in September.

read more>>

On Chewing Gum and Walking

Despite its preoccupation with Watergate and impeachment, the 93rd Congress turned out an impressive array of legislation in its two-year lifespan. Along the way, it also took firm steps to recapture its eroded powers. CQ Almanac 1974

Among the legislation the 93rd Congress passed were the War Powers Act, the Congressional Budget Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Endangered Species Act,  the Safe Drinking Water Act,  the Fair Labor Standards Amendment, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the Amtrak Improvement Act, the Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973 (VISTA), the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, the Research on Aging Act, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1973, the Rehabilitation Act, the Legal Services Corporation Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, the Privacy Act of 1974 , the Trade Act of 1974, and the National Health Planning and Resources Development Act.

Let’s stop repeating this tired piece of “conventional wisdom” that impeachment would paralyze Congress. Impeachment would only occupy one House committee as investigations took place, which would be the most time-consuming stage of the process. During the 93rd Congress, once articles of impeachment were brought against Nixon, it was only two weeks before he left office. If such investigations were thoroughly undertaken concerning this administration, there would be revelations that would make it untenable for even Senate Republicans to stand by the President and Vice President, and that a two thirds conviction could actually be obtained. This is assuming that Bush and Cheney had not already resigned in order to prevent their criminal – not just impeachable – offenses from coming out.

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AFL-CIO presidential debate: vote for impeachment question

From the “Working Families Vote 2008″ web site of the AFL-CIO:

Democratic presidential candidates will meet working families Aug. 7 at the AFL-CIO Presidential Candidates Forum in Chicago.

Working men and women will ask the candidates questions focusing on issues that affect the daily lives of working families—from jobs and wages to health care, retirement, education and Iraq. Some of the questions will be submitted and selected by visitors to the AFL-CIO’s Working Families Vote 2008 website.

The web site is soliciting questions and letting visitors vote for the most popular ones, which will be included in the debate — and a question about impeachment is among the top vote gettersHere it is:

impeachment

by George Fred
Bush and Cheney have broken multiple laws, such as illegally wiretapping, sanctioning torture, doing secret extraditions. They consistently thumb their noses at Congress, refusing to yield information that belongs to the public. They deliberately lied to start this war. Why have impeachment proceedings not started long ago? Is it okay for them to break laws?

Go and vote for the impeachment question now!


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