Kucinich announces impeachment charges against Vice President Cheney
Update: The Articles of Impeachment themselves are now available, and can be accessed via a link at the bottom of the story.
After a series of delays, late in the day on Wednesday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a candidate for president in 2008, announced a series of charges against Vice President Dick Cheney in Washington, DC. Kucinich alleged that the Vice President had committed a series of impeachable offenses and stated that he was therefore introducing Articles of Impeachment against Cheney in the Congress today.
Kucinich started off by reading the opening words of the Declaration of Independence, commenting that they were "instructive at this moment."
"Whenever any government official becomes destructive of the founding purposes, that official must be held accountable," he said.
The Ohio Democrat described his move as intended to provide a "defense of the rights of American people to have a government that is honest and peaceful."
Kucinich excoriated the Vice President who he said was "a driving force for taking us into war against Iraq under false pretenses, and is once again rattling sabers of war against Iran, with the same intent to drive America into war, again based on false pretenses."
The Ohio Congressman, who is running for president for the second time, noted three charges in his Articles of Impeachment, which were submitted as House Resolution 333. The first concerned manipulation of intelligence about Iraq's threat to the US. The second concerned manipulation of intelligence on the Iraq-Al-Qaida relationship. The last concerned what he called having "openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran."
Kucinich claimed in the press conference that the charges were "deeply researched" and insisted that his accusations were not just a political stunt.
"This is not brought forth lightly. I've carefully weighed the options available to Members of Congress, and I have found this path the path that is most important to take," he explained.
Kucinich dodged a question about whether or not he had the support of fellow Members of Congress. He said the Articles were just now being examined by Congress members and "you can't expect anyone to make a snap judgment."
He also said that he was only introducing the resolution and was not going to try and persuade Members of Congress to join him
"I'm not promoting it," he told Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Situation Room.
The former Cleveland Mayor further acknowledged in the press conference that he had not recently spoken with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on the matter. Pelosi had said last year that impeachment was "off the table."
In a conference call with today, the Speaker went further, telling RAW STORY that "President Bush was not worth it" because impeachment proceedings would be a distraction from passing Democratic policies that would ensure the party's future political victory.
"We will do more work to make for our own reelection, and maintain a Democratic Congress, and have a Democratic President," she said. "And frankly, for impeachment, George W. Bush is just not worth it. We have great work to do for the American people."
Kucinich also acknowledged that he had not yet discussed his charges with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, whose committee must consider whether or not to forward the articles on to Congress.
A reporter asked Kucinich why the Vice President should be impeached and not President George W. Bush.
"There is a very practical reason – each and every charge relates to Vice President Cheney's conduct or misconduct in office," he answered. But he added, "It is very important that we start with Mr. Cheney because if we were to start with the President, Mr. Cheney would then become president.
He also noted, "We'd have to go through the constitutional agony of impeaching two presidents consecutively."
The full Articles themselves, a large collection of PDF documents, are accessible at Congressman Kucinich's website.