17 US Reps Support Bush Impeachment Probe (UPDATE 1)

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(APN) ATLANTA  – The number of Members of US Congress supporting US Rep. John Conyers’s (D-MI) H. Res 635 has now jumped to 17, including Mr. Conyers. The US House bill would create a Select Committee to investigate the grounds for impeaching President Bush.

The two newest co-sponsors are US Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and James Oberstar (D-MN), who signed on yesterday, February 1, 2006. Just yesterday, Atlanta Progressive News exclusively reported that H. Res 635 had reflected 14 total co-sponsors at the time [not including Mr. Conyers in that number].

A total of 20 members of US Congress now support either a probe that could lead to Bush’s impeachment, Bush’s outright impeachment, or Bush’s resignation.

This is edging close to ten percent (10%) of the Democrats in the US House.

As of today, the 17 total co-sponsors of H. Res 635 are Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

As reported yesterday, US Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) withdrew her name, whereas she was listed as a cosponsor throughout January 2006, citing a clerical error for her name having been listed in the first place. Lofgren’s Office told Atlanta Progressive News the Representative learned of her being listed as a co-sponsor after an article by APN issued January 01, 2006.

Meanwhile, US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said he would support impeaching Bush over the issue of domestic wiretapping in late December 2005. At the same time, US Reps. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) have called for Bush to step down by signing on to a “World Can’t Wait” statement issued to Atlanta Progressive News.

“The most basic foundations of our democracy are set forth in our nation’s Constitution. For more than two centuries, people around the world have looked to our nation and our Constitution as a beacon of freedom and a model for the world to follow,” US Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) told John Nichols of The Capital Times Newspaper (Madison, WI), of her support of H. Res 635.

“The founders of our nation were clear that the most important role of the president is to ‘… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ President Bush has twice taken this oath of office. In the past several years, numerous questions have been raised about President Bush’s conduct in relation to some of the most basic elements of our democracy: respect for the rule of law, the principle of checks and balances, and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights,” Baldwin told The Capital Times.

The thing about H. Res. 635 is, it deals with impeaching Bush over a cluster of issues from misleading the public to go to war, to authorizing torture. Wiretapping was not listed as one of the reasons to investigate the grounds for Bush’s impeachment in the bill because the existence of the secret, illegal wiretapping had not come to light yet when the bill was being prepared.

Some Members of Congress such as US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) appear to see firmer grounds for impeaching Bush over his controversial authorization of illegal wiretapping on Americans, than for the reasons cited in H. Res. 635. Mr. Lewis told a radio station in December he would support impeachment over wiretapping.

It is unclear at this point whether Conyers or another member of Congress is prepared to introduce a new bill which would deal specifically with impeaching Bush over wiretapping.

Meanwhile, the first professional poll commissioned by a progressive news agency found that 54% of all 850 Pennsylvanian respondents supported impeachment of President Bush if his authorization of domestic wiretapping is concluded to be illegal. The poll was conducted by Zobgy International and was commissioned by Rob Kall, Editor of OpEdNews.

US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) asked four legal scholars to analyze the grounds for Bush’s impeachment in December 2005. Perhaps these scholars’ opinions, in conjunction with US Senate hearings to commence next week, will allow for the spying’s legality or illegality to be concluded with more certainty.

The text of H. Res 635 is as follows:

H. Res 635 reads as its official title: “Creating a select committee to investigate the Administration’s intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment.”

“In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. There is at least a prima facie case that these actions that federal laws have been violated – from false statements to Congress to retaliating against Administration critics,” Rep. Conyers said in a press release on 12/20/05.

Matthew Cardinale is the Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He may be reached at matthew@atlantaprogressivenews.com

CORRECTION: Yesterday’s APN Dispatch contained an inadvertant substantive error in its subtitle. As noted in our full length articles on H. Res 635, the bill supports an investigation looking into the grounds of impeachment, not impeachment itself.

Syndication policy: This article may be reprinted in full at no cost, where Atlanta Progressive News is credited.

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