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A sad performance so far by John Conyers
Above is cell phone video of John Conyers telling a San Diego meeting last Friday that he was willing to consider impeachment of both Bush and Cheney if he received support from others in Congress. A transcript is below.
However, Conyers appears to have changed his mind at some point over the weekend. Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern and others met with him on Monday to discuss impeachment. (Sheehan and McGovern were two of the witnesses at the hearings on the Downing Street Memo that Conyers held in 2005.) McGovern's report of the meeting is here. Sheehan writes:
The Congressman claims that there is absolutely no way that impeachment can go forward and when I was nearing the end of my hope I cried out: "So, if the people's house won't help us then we the people have no recourse against the executive branch." To which he replied: "Yes you do, vote the enablers out in '08."
Given the Friday video, this is not at all what people were hoping for. The response from Conyers yesterday was bad enough by itself, but it's particularly disappointing that he would seemingly mislead supporters in San Diego.
CONYERS: Now, let me close with this one suggestion, is that I need some Members of Congress to come to me and say Mr Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I heard you were out in San Diego, and they really put it to you, and you made commitments that we don't know if you were just saying, saying something to get out of that hotel alive or were you, or were you serious and here's what we need to do. We need to have three Members of Congress from anywhere come and say, "Congressman, if you... if you are willing to support an inquiry into a resolution of whether there had been acts of impeachability conducted by, the Vice President of, and the President of the United States, that could lead to High Crimes and Misdemeanors, then we will join you if you introduce such a resolution."
SPECTATOR: With House Resolution 333, you have that right now, do you not?
CONYERS: No, I, I, this is something that we are working on right now. We don't have it right now.
SPECTATOR: We do have House Resolution 333.
CONYERS: I'm talking about more. Look. And so let us, let us see how many people would be willing to back us up, in addition to the ones --
SPECTATOR: Maxine Waters.
CONYERS: Let, let us, let us stay in close communication. These are decisions that should not be taken lightly. We have, I want to examine and put forward as we move along a close, critical examination of all of the benefits and the costs involved in making this momentous decision. It's easy to say that this is an easy, this is a no brainer, the logic is all on one side, and I wish that were so. If it were so, you would be here congratulating me for doing what you had been asking me and others to do for so long.
So let's think soberly about it. There is no, let's say, now is the time and we don't have to worry about the future. I, with due respect, disagree with that. I have to think about the future. I have to weigh what this, the impact of this is going to be. And, by the way, you probably know, that there is such a thing as the retroactive impeachment process.
SPECTATORS: No, what's that? Tell us more.
CONYERS: If you introduced the resolution of impeachment after the person is gone.
SPECTATOR: Really? Wow!
CONYERS: When, I just, I just want you to know about all of the things. I am so glad that Bill Moyers did what he did. Those CDs and, we have to, print, and we want everybody to listen to them carefully and think seriously on this matter.
Video and transcript by Richard Matthews (I think).