Cheney 'defunder' not currently considering impeachment
Fox News spoke on Tuesday to Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, about the dispute with Vice President Cheney over his refusal to report on his office's handling of classified information.
Emanuel explained the grounds of the dispute and Cheney's denial that he is part of the executive branch, concluding, "I said, if you really believe that you're not part of the executive branch, we should[n't] fund you in the executive branch."
"Others are saying that this is a partisan attack and that there are many more international and domestic issues that we should be focusing on," objected the Fox interviewer.
"It's not like I'm looking for this fight," replied Emanuel. "But if the vice president wants to act like he's unaccountable and above the law ... I'll meet that."
However, Emanuel still avoids the topic of impeachment. According to a registration-restricted story at Roll Call, "Impeachment of Cheney still appears to be off the table as far as Democratic leaders are concerned, despite efforts by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and a few other Members as well as many party activists. 'Thatís not where we are,' Emanuel said."
The following video is from Fox's Fox & Friends, broadcast on June 26.
MS. CARLSON: While energy and appropriations continue to be the focus of many, one congressman has his sights set on a different type of legislative issue: the vice president.
Joining us now from Washington is Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
Good to see you, Congressman.
REP. EMANUEL: Good morning. How are you?
MS. CARLSON: Very well, thank you.
All right. Let's break down the dispute right now about -- because it's --
REP. EMANUEL: That would be helpful.
MS. CARLSON: -- yeah, it's some what complicated. Now, the dispute stems from Vice President Dick Cheney's refusal to file annual reports with an office of the National Archives detailing the number of documents that his office either has classified or declassified. Is that correct?
REP. EMANUEL: Dealing with national security issues.
MS. CARLSON: All right. And why are you concerned about whether or not he's doing this?
REP. EMANUEL: Well, first of all, I mean, he's refused to abide by a rule that applies to everybody in the executive branch on very important data -- starting in 2002 -- dealing with the material on national security matters, which is important both for historical purposes and for present purposes. And then he took this extraordinary step that everybody thinks is ludicrous, saying he's not part of the executive branch as if he's not accountable and he's above the law.
So I said, "If you really believe that you're not part of the executive branch, we should fund you in the executive branch. We'll just let the money follow your legal precedent." And --
MS. CARLSON: So he's trying to say that he's part of the legislative branch, right?
REP. EMANUEL: He's also trying -- two things he's trying to say: One, he's part of the legislative branch -- therefore not accountable to the executive branch's rules and laws that apply to everybody, which is more important; and B, by saying that, he's saying he's in the legislative branch. So I said therefore we'll only fund the legislative branch.
MS. CARLSON: All right.
REP. EMANUEL: We shouldn't fund the executive branch because -- but most important is here is the principle. He is refusing to abide by the law in putting the material -- classified material on national security matters in a database that is required of everybody. He's acting as if he's unaccountable and above the law.
And then he takes this ludicrous position saying he is above the law and unaccountable. He has acted that way in the presidency and he wants the historical record to continue that logic, and I'm saying, "No. If you take that precedent, we'll follow up and take your precedent to its basic logic."
MS. CARLSON: But -- right. But Congressman, others are saying -- others are saying that this is a partisan attack and that there are many more international and domestic issues that we should be focusing on, especially you as a congressman, rather than trying to get to the bottom of this.
REP. EMANUEL: Well, I think following the law is part of what a congressman has to do and what I think -- I would hope a vice president has to do.
Second, Senate's dealing with immigration legislation. Last week they dealt with setting CAFE standards for energy. We are dealing with the funding issues and major policy issues. It's not like I'm looking for this fight, but if the vice president wants to act like he's unaccountable and above the law, the rules and laws that apply to everybody else don't apply to him, I'll meet that.
Now, we're also going to do our job. We're going to announce a major energy policy here. So we can do both -- it's not a either-or. The vice president took this ludicrous position and it's going to be met and we'll have a vote on it, and the Republicans can decide whether they want a vice president who's unaccountable and above the law.
MS. CARLSON: All right.
Congressman Emanuel, I've got to go. Thanks for your time.
REP. EMANUEL: Thank you.