Matthew Cardinale / Atlanta Progressive News – 2006-02-18 08:52:38
ATLANTA (February 15, 2006)— 25 US Representatives — including two members of the Georgia delegation — have now signed on as co-sponsors of H. Res 635, demanding a probe which could recommend Bush’s impeachment, including the initial sponsor, US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
If the Democratic Party is able to retake the US House of Representatives, Rep. Conyers would become Chairman Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee, whereas he is currently minority leader on the Committee.
If not acted on this session, the bill would have to be reintroduced next session. It is possible that a new bill could include new language regarding NSA domestic wiretapping.
Sources in Washington DC tell Atlanta Progressive News that H. Res 635 is a venue for coalition among members of Congress who are willing to consider impeachment for a variety of reasons.
Even though H. Res 635 does not specifically reference the NSA domestic wiretapping issue, some Members of US Congress have found the wiretapping issue to be a compelling reason to sign on as a co-sponsor, sources say.
26 US Representatives now total want Bush either to face an impeachment probe or to resign. US Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) is the representative who has called for Bush’s resignation, according to a World Can’t Wait statement issued to Atlanta Progressive News.
Two (2) Members of US Congress signed on yesterday, February 14, 2006, including US Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and US Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), according to thomas.loc.gov. Since APN’s last story on H. Res 635, US Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), also signed on, having done so on February 8, 2006. Press representatives for Reps. Moore, Velazquez, and Honda were not immediately available for comment.
The current 25 total co-sponsors 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. Sam Farr (D-CA),
• Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY),
• Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA),
• Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX),
• Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA),
• Rep. John Lewis (D-GA),
• Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY),
• 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. 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. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY),
• Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and
• Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
The best represented states on H. Res 635 are California (8), Georgia (2), New York (6), and Wisconsin (2).
Over 12% of US House Democrats now support the impeachment probe; almost 6% of all US House Representatives now support the probe. In December 2005, there were 231 Republicans in the US House, 202 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 1 vacancy, a clerk for the US House of Representatives told Atlanta Progressive News.
This continues to mark a slow, steady shift towards an impeachment probe. Every few days or so, Atlanta Progressive News has announced new cosponsors for H. Res 635 as the separate debate over Bush’s authorization of illegal domestic wiretapping rages like wildfire.
“There is an awakening, a growing awareness of the deceit of which this administration has been engaged,” US Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) told an audience at Cornell University, according to News10Now.com. Hinchey’s “loudest applause came when he mentioned the I-word. He says if Democrats can retake the House, ‘There will be people in the Congress who will bring impeachment actions’,” News10Now.com reports.
Previously, Rep. Lewis had said on WAOK radio if a Member of US Congress prepared a bill over Bush’s impeachment due to the wiretapping issue, that he would sign that bill.
Rep. Lewis’s office has clarified that statement for Atlanta Progressive News, adding an earlier Associated Press (AP) story had contained a misleading headline, “Lewis Calls for Bush Impeachment.” The AP later edited their story, Brenda Jones, press spokesperson for Rep. Lewis, told Atlanta Progressive News. The Congressman intended for his comments to be understood not as a call for impeachment, but the comments were instead intended to signal a willingness to support impeachment if such a bill makes its way through the proper channels.
The Select Committee specified in Rep. Conyers’s H. Res 635 could constitute one of those channels, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
US Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) withdrew her name from H. Res 635 two weeks ago, whereas she had been listed as a cosponsor throughout January 2006. Lofgren cited 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 reading an exclusive article by Atlanta Progressive News issued January 1, 2006.
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.
“We cherish the great and noble principle of freedom, we will fight to keep it, and we will hold this President – and anyone who violates those freedoms – accountable for their actions,” US Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) said in an ominous Senate floor statement over the wiretapping issue.
Meanwhile, US Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a moderate Republican chairing the wiretapping hearings in the Senate, told George Stephanopoulos during a television program, impeachment would be the standard remedy, at least in theory, if Bush has broken the law.
“Well, the remedy could be a variety of things. A president — and I’m not suggesting remotely that there’s any basis, but you’re asking, really, theory, what’s the remedy? Impeachment is a remedy. After impeachment, you could have a criminal prosecution, but the principal remedy, George, under our society is to pay a political price,” Senator Specter said on January 15, 2006.
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 congressional hearings on the NSA domestic wiretapping issue, will allow for the spying’s legality or illegality to be concluded with more certainty.
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 December 20, 2005.
Atlanta Progressive News has provided near-exclusive — and during most times, exclusive — coverage of the progress of H. Res 635. We will continue to follow this story and any related developments.
Matthew Cardinale is the Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He may be reached at email@example.com
• US Rep. Lewis Calls for Bush Impeachment (December 26, 2005)
• EXCLUSIVE: Bush Impeachment Inquiry Has 8 House CoSponsors (January 01, 2006)
• EXCLUSIVE: 14 US Reps Want Impeachment Probe (February 01, 2006)
• EXCLUSIVE: 17 US Reps Want Impeachment Probe (February 02, 2006)
• EXCLUSIVE: 22 US Reps Want Impeachment Probe (February 08, 2006)
From the Atlanta Progressive News.
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