On Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M. the Takoma Park, MD City Council will vote on a resolution that calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and President Bush. If the measure passes, Takoma Park will become the first municipality in the Washington, DC area to pass an impeachment resolution. Currently eighty towns and cities across the country have passed impeachment resolutions, including Detroit, MI, San Francisco, CA, Chapel Hill, NC, several towns in Vermont and, most recently, West Hollywood, CA. The Rules of the House of Representatives allow Congress to accept petitions from state and local governments, which are then recorded by the Clerk of the House in the Congressional Journal.
This past April, Takoma Park residents began meeting weekly to discuss ways to advance impeachment on both the national and local level. One of the first events the group held was a forum with State Senator Jamie Raskin to discuss the constitutional principles behind impeachment and the political aspects of the process. The purpose of this event was to help counteract what group member Lisa Moscatiello views as some of the myths surrounding the impeachment process.
“One of the misconceptions is that the measure has no chance of passing, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment off limits following the November elections. Since that time, the mood of the country has changed, due to frustration over Congress’ inability to end the war and outrage over the Administration’s refusal to cooperate with Congressional hearings. Congressional offices are now reporting being inundated with calls from constituents. Members are starting to realize that if they are to retain their seats in Congress they need to respond to these calls. There are now thirteen cosponsors to a bill in Congress to impeach Vice President Cheney. Among the cosponsors are Rep. Al Wynn of Maryland and Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia. And the fact that an increasing number of voices calling for impeachment are coming from the right indicates that it is not about party politics. It’s about first principles, that we are a country ruled by laws and not by the whims of individuals.”
The Takoma Park resolution cites the following as grounds for impeaching the President and Vice President:
- Conspiring to lead the country into war based on false information.
- Using electronic surveillance against U.S. citizens without warrant, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
- Breaching the Federal Torture Act, the Geneva Conventions and the UN Torture Convention
- Stripping Americans of their constitutional rights by detaining them indefinitely without trial or access to legal counsel
- Infringing on legislative powers granted solely to Congress in the Constitution, by issuing presidential signing statements that void sections of laws passed by Congress.
The Takoma Park City Council vote on the impeachment resolution will take place on Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M in the Takoma Park Municipal Building at 7500 Maple Avenue.
For more information: (202) 256-1764 or see http://www.takomaparkibc.wordpress.com.