Conyers may hold hearings, but plans no action on impeachment
Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday July 15, 2008

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All Rep. Dennis Kucinich wants is a chance to present his case. The Ohio Democrat has made a crusade of his efforts to impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, only to be ignored and ridiculed by many of his fellow lawmakers.

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still sees the prospect of actually booting the president from office as "off the table," discussing the idea now at least seems OK.

Sometime before its August recess, the House Judiciary Committee likely will hold a hearing to consider Kucinich's impeachment appeal, CQ Politics reports:

Chairman John Conyers Jr. , D-Mich., said Judiciary will take a broad look at the behavior of the Bush administration, and Kucinich can lay out his arguments as part of that as-yet unscheduled hearing.

Kucinich, D-Ohio, intends to formally offer a resolution on Tuesday that accuses Bush of lying to Congress in order to get approval to invade Iraq.

Conyers said he wants a public discussion of the issues being raised by Kucinich, but does not plan to take any action on the resolution. “We’re not doing impeachment, but he can talk about it,” the chairman said.

He said such a hearing would continue oversight of the executive branch that has included hearings on the exposure of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame and the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Conyers appears to be of mixed opinions about impeachment. Prior to the Democrats' takeover of the House in 2006, he penned a Washington Post editorial in which he all but promised he wouldn't. But by August of this year, he seemed to have warmed.

"Nancy Pelosi has impeachment 'off the table,' but that's off her table, it is not off John Conyers' table," the Michigan Democrat said during a town hall meeting in his district Aug. 28. "Nancy Pelosi, who I actually supported, cannot prevent me from introducing an impeachment resolution against, well I've got a long list of people who are eligible."

A Conyers spokesman did not immediately respond to RAW STORY's request for clarification of the congressman's comments at the time.

"I want you to know that I have no reticence, no reluctance, no hesitation to use the tool of impeachment ... whenever I feel that it is appropriate," Conyers said. "I only wish that I could be moved by a lot of people coming to my office."

At a press conference last week when he unveiled the single article, Kucinich said a chance to talk was all he wanted.

Kucinich said he was "grateful" for Pelosi's earlier suggestion that the Judiciary Committee may soon hold hearings on his measure.

"Like everything else in Washington, never say never," Kucinich said.

Democrat says Congress must reassert power

Speaking about his impeachment article last week, Kucinich said: "Congress must, in the name of the American people, use the one remedy which the Founders provided for an Executive who gravely abused his power: Impeachment.

"Congress must reassert itself as a co-equal branch of government; bring this President to an accounting, and in doing so reestablish the people's trust in Congress and in our United States system of government. We must not let this President's conduct go unchallenged and thereby create a precedent which undermines the Constitution.

He continued, "In the final analysis this is about our Constitution and whether a President can be held accountable for his actions and his deceptions, especially when the effects of those actions have been so calamitous for America, Iraq and the world.

"Unless Congress reasserts itself as the power branch of government which the Founders intended, our experiment with a republican form of Government may be nearing an end," Kucinich said in closing. "But when Congress acts to hold this President accountable it will be redeeming the faith that the Founders had in the power of a system of checks and balances which preserves our republic."