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New Strategies for Impeachment


Over at Kos, abortender discovered some exciting new ways to get impeachment off the ground!

The Rules of the 109th Congress offer many ways to begin impeachment proceedings. (If the previous link doesn't work, start here and search "impeach"). I reformatted the text and added numbers below for convenience.

Sec. 603. Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House.

In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion:

  1. by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate (II, 1303; III, 2342, 2400, 2469; VI, 525, 526, 528, 535, 536);
  2. by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination (III, 2364, 2491, 2494, 2496, 2499, 2515; VI, 543);
  3. by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee (Apr. 15, 1970, p. 11941; Oct. 23, 1973, p. 34873);
  4. by a message from the President (III, 2294, 2319; VI, 498);
  5. by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469)
  6. or territory (III, 2487)
  7. or from a grand jury (III, 2488);
  8. or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House (III, 2399, 2444).

In December, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.Res.635, which would create a Watergate-style "investigating committee" - option #8 above.

The problem with this strategy is that it would take a majority vote in the House to pass H.Res.635 - and of course the dictatorial Rules Committtee, led by Denny Hastert's closeted gay enforcer David Dreier, will never allow it to even come to the floor for a vote.

So what other strategies can we pursue that would actually get us closer to impeachment?

(1-3) all require the action of just one Member or Delegate. And there is a precedent! Legendary former Rep. Henry Gonzalez of San Antonio, who single-handedly introduced Articles of Impeachment three times - against Ronald Reagan in 1983 for the invasion of Grenada and in 1987 for the Iran/Contra affair, and against George H.W. Bush in 1991 for the Persian Gulf War.

We desperately need another Henry Gonzalez today - who will it be??? Help us persuade your Representative to provide the courageous leadership that Gonzalez did!

(4) Requires Bush to impeach himself. Forget that one!

(5) allows a state legislature to "transmit" impeachment charges to Congress. It does not appear to require the signature of a governor - just a joint resolution will do. There are a number of state legislatures that are controlled by Democrats. Any one of these could adopt impeachment charges!

(6) extends this power to the territories: American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

(7) extends this power to a grand jury. Patrick Fitzgerald, can you hear us now?

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