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Waxman Says He Will Keep an Open Mind on Impeachment

By Marcy Winograd

Congressman Waxman, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, told an impeachment delegation meeting with him in his Los Angeles office, Tues., Aug. 7, 2007, that he would mull over his constituents' articulate arguments, watch the Bill Moyers' interview on impeachment, and weigh whether there was sufficient evidence to, not just impeach, but convict Bush and Cheney.

Waxman told the delegation it was not enough to believe Bush and Cheney were responsible for high crimes; his decision to support or co-sponsor an impeachment resolution must be predicated on the knowledge that there is overwhelming evidence for a conviction.

Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, California's 41st Assembly District Delegates, the Los Angeles National Impeachment Center, and the LA Green Party participated in the office delegation, while a group of impeachment supporters rallied outside, holding Impeachment is Patriotic signs and a 14-foot banner that read "Impeachment is on Our Table."

Inside, the 14 impeachment lobbyists meeting with Waxman offered multiple arguments. Marcy Winograd, the principle organizer of the delegation and the President of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, said the country was on the precipice of a police state with each new Presidential directive criminalizing dissent; Peter Thottam, a Green Party activist and the founder of the LA National Impeachment Center, referred to the many hundreds of thousands of people killed as a result of the Bush administration's lies that led the nation to war; Joye Swan, a leader of the Progressive Caucus in the California Democratic Party, referred to a sign in Waxman's lobby which mentioned the importance of a lone courageous voice; Michael Jay, Wayne Williams, and Linda Sutton, all activists with Progressive Democrats of America, reminded Waxman that he took an oath of office to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution; Ricco Ross, a delegate to the California Democratic Party, said the impeachment of Bush and Cheney would redeem the United States in the eyes of the world. At one point one participant said, "Congressman Waxman, we are asking you to defend us."

At the outset of the meeting, Waxman expressed a hesitancy to come out publicly for impeachment, explaining that his role as a vigorous investigator would be compromised by taking a stand that could be perceived as partisan or partial. Winograd responded with, "At some point you, the investigator, have enough evidence to hold these criminals accountable. What is the point of continuous investigations unless an indictment or impeachment process is begun?" Showing some hesitancy, Waxman insisted that a successful impeachment trial would necessitate strong and convincing evidence to persuade both Democrats and Republicans that high crimes had been committed. In the next breath, Waxman recited a litany of Bush and Cheney's crimes, everything from the Iraq war to the outing of a CIA agent to illegal wiretapping. "You sound like you are delivering the opening argument for an impeachment trial," said Winograd. With good humor, Waxman nodded and smiled.

Towards the end of the meeting, Dorothy Reik, President of Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, urged Waxman to use the "inherent contempt" power of Congress to bring criminal charges against Bush and Cheney and their aides, hold a hearing in Congress on those charges, and then hand down the punishment, prison time. Reik expressed frustration with the refusal of Bush administration officials to testify before congressional committees, despite the fact that subpoenas had been issued.

"Your witnesses aren't showing up -- They're ignoring your subpoenas," said Reik, "so it is time for you, Congressman Waxman, to recognize that there is a precedent for members of congress to initiate criminal proceedings."

Waxman said he was unaware of the "inherent contempt" power. In a follow-up letter after the meeting, Winograd emailed him information on the "inherent contempt" precedent.

While only six months ago, Congressman Waxman ruled out impeachment, this time he indicated he would go forward with an open mind, all the while praising participants for their passion and urging them to lobby the members of the House Judiciary Committee.

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DonP Agree to study the issue. Claim that there is not enough time for impeachment. Deny that votes in Congress will be available for impeachment. Stall, delay,and lie thats what Congress persons do. They are all in this together. We are the outsiders.

My thanks to all those who have participated to bring Waxman to this point. It is difficult to deny the evidence that has been documented so far...and that is just what we have in the public record. I will remain hopeful that he will see the evidence is there
and stop the bleeding of our Constitution and all those suffering
in our illegal wars. We must restore our dignity and respectability
in the world. We can not allow the largest crime spree in our recent political history to continue. We will not tolerate a police state.
We must keep pushing...demanding and fighting to restore and maintain our rights!

Thanks Again

No Rep Waxman your job is to proceed and provide evidence NOT to insist on the amount of evidence will convict - That's the juries job. How hard is that to comprehend? This is a Waxman rehtoric con job. Because the whole thing is predicated on the amount of overwhelming evidence and Who's gonna decide that eh Waxman. Please don't do us an more favors.

Viet Nam drafted Veteran WIA '68
Co-State Coordinator PDA Montana

Somehow I recollect Waxman being involved in the IC hearings. And unless I am mistking him for someone else, in the end he seemed more like a tool that a defender of justice. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Waxman was unaware of the inherent contempt power? Are you kidding?

All constituents of Congressman Henry Waxman are invited to use the attached letter in whole or part to remind the Congressman of the knowing deception the President subjected the American People, the People of Iraq and all the people of the world to before he launched his invasion.
For residents of CA 30th Congressional District

For those outside his district, send correspondence which may also be of interest to his Committee on Oversight and Reform. If impeachment doesn’t qualify as oversight and reform, I don’t know what does.

Dear Congressman Henry Waxman,

I am writing to ask you to sponsor and support all efforts to impeach both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

It is my understanding that on August 7 you met with a group of 14 activists who asked for your support and leadership in impeaching both the President and Vice President. It is also my understanding that you said that you would do so when assured that there was sufficient evidence to not just impeach them, but also convict them.

Of course the evidence is there and it is as plain as the nose on your face or mine. The Downing Street Memo, Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil, Counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke and Former Ambassador Joe Wilson can all provide testimony that the Bush Administration decided to invade Iraq certainly in early 2002 and a strong possibility in early 2001. All the while telling the American People that they would use diplomacy first and war would only be a last resort.

Here, though, I would like to concentrate on another piece of evidence. A letter to the President dated March 17, two days before we attacked. It was written by a congressman from California. In it he said

“I am writing regarding a matter of grave concern. Upon your order, our armed forces will soon initiate the first preemptive war in our nation’s history. The most persuasive justification for this war is that we must act to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons.
In the last ten days, however, it has become incontrovertibly clear that a key piece of evidence you and other Administration officials have cited regarding Iraq’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons is a hoax. What’s more, the Central Intelligence Agency questioned the veracity of the evidence at the same time you and other Administration officials were citing it in public statements. This is a breach of the highest order, and the American people are entitled to know how it happened.
As you know, I voted for the congressional resolution condemning Iraq and authorizing the use of force. Despite serious misgivings, I supported the resolution because I believed congressional approval would significantly improve the likelihood of effective U.N. action. Equally important, I believed that you had access to reliable intelligence information that merited deference.”

The Congressman goes on,

“It has now been conceded that this evidence was a forgery…Even more troubling, however, the CIA, which has been aware of this information since 2001, has never regarded the evidence as reliable…”
“It is hard to imagine how this situation could have developed. The two most obvious explanations—knowing deception or unfathomable incompetence—both have immediate and serious implications. It is thus imperative that you address this matter without delay and provide an alternative explanation, if there is one.”

The letter goes on fleshing out the case that we were lied to about the nuclear threat from Saddam Hussein. If the letter sounds familiar, it should because you wrote it. Your letter itself is an absolute indictment against the President and his entire Administration for lying to the American People about the potential threat from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and our supposed need to invade.
Henry Waxman’s letter to the President on March 17, 2003

You asked the President to answer a series of questions about this information and certainly to the best of my knowledge you are patiently waiting for an answer. Well it has been 4 years and 4 months and you are still waiting. Like the answer to Cindy Sheehan’s question “What noble cause did my son die for?” Your answer will never come from this President.

There is only one answer. IMPEACH!


Nick Egnatz
Vietnam Vet
Munster, IN 46321

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