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We're Sitting In at the House Judiciary Committee Office Right Now
By David Swanson
A dozen of us have begun a sit-in at the House Judiciary Committee office. Come join us at Rayburn 2138. Leslie Angeline and Ellen Taylor of Code Pink are the leaders here. Laurel Jensen is here, and Michael Heaney, Thalia Doukas, Darryl Love, Ed Dickau, Michael Beer, Jes Richardson, Mike Marceau, Dan... People are joining us every few minutes. We're sitting around in the main room of the office. We have two video cameras going, and we're discussing...
10:40 Actually, a staffer just came out and said that everyone could go back to another room to meet with Chairman John Conyers "except for David Swanson."
10:45 A few of us are talking in the big room while everyone else is in a back room with Chairman Conyers and some staffers. Staffers with whom I worked two-and-a-half years ago and who are mad at me for disagreeing with their turn against impeachment are all here: Perry Applebaum, Ted Kalo, Jonathan Godfrey. Back then they were working with us on impeachment and did not tell us that only elections mattered. Back then, the voters wanted impeachment and justice demanded it, so we didn't ask which was the motivation. In 2006, when the RNC demanded a ban and Pelosi complied, everything changed. The Judiciary Committee now acts on a pair of false beliefs: Elections are more important, and impeachment would be bad for elections. One is immoral, the other just uninformed.
You can let the House Judiciary Committee know your opinion at (202) 224-3121. Please do so right now. They're good people. I know they are. But something is blocking them. Help break the logjam!
UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: More people have arrived. The meeting just ended. We're discussing what happened. Chairman Conyers argued that there would be blowback in the form of a McCain victory. Our gang replied that the comparison to Clinton was bogus, that the comparison that's more apt is to Nixon and all the other impeachments, and that Congress' unpopularity is the result of their inaction. Conyers also claimed impeachment would take too long and would be slow because of White House stonewalling, which is of course nonsense - when Nixon refused a subpoena the HJC passed an article of impeachment against him for it.
Conyers agreed to meet with Zoe Lofgren re her proposal for a hearing on the impeachment process, and he agreed to meet with Marcus Raskin and to meet with others we choose (except me).
Ellen gave them the argument that impeachment hearings would force McCain to defend Bush and Cheney's offenses, and Conyers and Ted Kalo both liked that idea. So, we should bring in people who can speak to that point (Rep. Robert Wexler comes to mind!).
Also, Conyers said that he has drafted and is circulating to his colleagues a letter to Bush that says that if he attacks Iran impeachment hearings will begin.
Everyone came out of this meeting agreed that for Conyers it all comes down to electoral politics, and the only argument that seemed to gain ground was the one regarding putting McCain on the defensive through Cheney impeachment hearings.
Our folks videotaped the whole meeting and will make it public here.