BREAKING: Four US Reps for Cheney Impeachment (UPDATE 1)

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(APN) ATLANTA — US Rep. Albert Russell Wynn (D-MD) has become the fourth total co-sponsor of US Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) bill to impeach Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, Atlanta Progressive News has learned. In addition to Kucinich, the other two Members of Congress who have signed on to H. Res 333 are US Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) and William Lacy Clay (D-MO).

“Vice President Dick Cheney is the architect of the Administration’s deception about the war. Cheney persistently and deliberately deceived the Congress and the American people about the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the alleged link between Saddam Hussein and the attack on September 11th. There should be a serious dialogue about the conduct of this Administration. Cheney should be held accountable for purposely misleading the American people. Despite the obvious lack of success on the ground, Vice President Cheney continued a barrage of propaganda claiming that we were winning the war and successfully rebuilding Iraq which is patently false. His statements and representations about the situation in Iraq amount to malfeasance for which he should be taken to task,” said Wynn in a press release prepared for Atlanta Progressive News.

Impeachment activist Tracie Stern of Atlanta World Can’t Wait said the new co-sponsorships are exciting, but at the same time, the case for impeachment is so clear that these Members of Congress are actually just doing their duty.

Those Members who do not co-sponsor H Res 333 are enabling the Bush Adminstration, Stern said, adding “People need to step on to the stage of history.”

US Rep. Wynn (D-MD) is a champion of civil rights issues, but unlike Clay, Kucinich, and Schakowsky, he is not a Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. This suggests the bill is gaining appreciation beyond the traditional impeachment constituency of the CPC. Of course, Kucinich himself had not supported H Res 635 either.

For example, the majority of cosponsors of H. Res 635, US Rep. Conyers’s bill in the last Congressional Session to create a Select Committee to look into possible grounds for impeaching President Bush, were from the CPC, and about half of CPC Members supported Conyers’s bill last Session. With Kucinich’s bill, most of the CPC leadership have yet to sign on.

US Rep. Wynn had also not been a cosponsor of Conyers’s H Res 635, suggesting new Members of Congress are learning about the apparent crimes committed by the Bush Administration, including a conspiracy to defraud Congress and the American people over the need to invade Iraq. This case of fraud has been documented in books like US v. Bush by former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega.

“At the urging of my constituents in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, and from Americans across the country, I cosponsored Congressman Kucinich’s resolution regarding the impeachment of the Vice President because I believe that Mr. Cheney deliberately manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the Congress of the United States and the American people. That deception has resulted in a tragic, unnecessary war that has already cost the lives of over 3,300 brave Americans and has cost the taxpayers over $400 billion. The arrogant abuse of power and the complete disregard for the truth needs to stop,” US Rep. Clay said in a statement prepared for Atlanta Progressive News.

US Rep. Schakowsky’s spokesperson said the Congresswoman did not have comment because she typically does not comment on bills she cosponsors.

Missing in action was US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) who had told WAOK radio in December 2005 he would sign a bill of impeachment of President Bush should it come across his desk [crimes committed by Bush would equally apply to Cheney in this case]. Of course, Lewis did not cosponsor US Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s (D-GA) bill filed at the end of the last Session which would have impeached Bush either.

Other MIAs include US Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) who recently made comments that she thought impeaching Cheney was a good idea, as reported by AfterDowningStreet.org [Waters’s Office has not returned a call seeking comment]; and US Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who supported impeachment in the Minnesota legislature and campaigned for US Congress on the issue. This list could go on.

The new cosponsorships on Kucinich’s bill are significant for a number of reasons. First, it shows there is more than one Member of Congress willing to entertain real accountability for the Bush Administration, despite the insistence of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that impeachment is off the table.

Also, this bill is calling for actual Articles of Impeachment for Cheney, unlike the last bill which not only was related to Mr. Bush, but created an investigative committee to look into possible impeachment rather than providing for actual possible impeachment.

Therefore, cosponsorships on H Res 333 have even more weight than those which were listed on H Res 635 last Session.

Also, since the time of H Res 635, Democrats have taken control of both the US House and Senate. Thus, impeachment is even more a real possibility on account of having the potential Democratic support for the bill, even though most Democrats currently aren’t rushing to impeach Bush.

Because Democrats are now the Majority in Congress, we also now know that Bush refuses to be accountable to Congress, particularly on the US Invasion of Iraq. Bush has now vetoed historic legislation to attach funding for the Occupation with a deadline for withdrawal. Thus, it is now even more clear that traditional oversight mechanisms will not be effective.

The House Judiciary Committee told APN there are no plans to have hearings on impeachment of Cheney or anyone else at this time.

“It’s not at this time on the Committee’s immediate agenda,” Conyers’s spokesperson said.

“Once its referred it has to be on the Committee’s agenda for the Committee to take it up,” they said.

“In order to move a bill you have to have hearings scheduled on it,” they said.

When asked by APN if Conyers taking impeachment “off the table” meant based on present information or whether it was complete abdication of a constitutional mechanism no matter what information comes forward, “All we can speak to is the present time,” the spokesperson said, adding it would be unwise to speculate about the future.

“I don’t think it’s prejudging,” they said.

The 39 total co-sponsors of H Res. 635 were US Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Jackson, Jr., (D-IL), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. John Olver (D-MA), Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN), Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Dianne Watson (D-CA), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Rep. David Wu (D-OR).

It was largely viewed that US Rep. Conyers, the original sponsor of H Res 635, did not re-file his bill out of respect to Pelosi and his desire to be appointed Chair of the Judiciary Committee. Moreover, several Members of Congress have stated that they have followed in Conyers’s steps in choosing not to introduce similar bills of their own.

About the author:

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

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

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