Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Impeach Bush and Cheney? Conyers: In His Own Words! The YO-YO Lives.
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Monday, July 30, 2007

Impeach Bush and Cheney? Conyers: In His Own Words! The YO-YO Lives.







ONE REALLY BEGINS TO WONDER; JUST WHAT IS THIS MAN’S PROBLEM? OR SUB TITLE: “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT?” HERE COMES THE YO-YO AGAIN.


Above is cell phone video of John Conyers telling a San Diego meeting last Friday that he was willing to consider impeachment of both Bush and Cheney if he received support from others in Congress. A transcript is below.

However, Conyers appears to have changed his mind at some point over the weekend. Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern and others met with him on Monday to discuss impeachment. (Sheehan and McGovern were two of the witnesses at the hearings on the Downing Street Memo that Conyers held in 2005.) McGovern's report of the meeting is here. Sheehan writes:

The Congressman claims that there is absolutely no way that impeachment can go forward and when I was nearing the end of my hope I cried out: "So, if the people's house won't help us then we the people have no recourse against the executive branch." To which he replied: "Yes you do, vote the enablers out in '08."

Given the Friday video, this is not at all what people were hoping for. The response from Conyers yesterday was bad enough by itself, but it's particularly disappointing that he would seemingly mislead supporters in San Diego.

TRANSCRIPT:
CONYERS: Now, let me close with this one suggestion, is that I need some Members of Congress to come to me and say Mr Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I heard you were out in San Diego, and they really put it to you, and you made commitments that we don't know if you were just saying, saying something to get out of that hotel alive or were you, or were you serious and here's what we need to do. We need to have three Members of Congress from anywhere come and say, "Congressman, if you... if you are willing to support an inquiry into a resolution of whether there had been acts of impeachability conducted by, the Vice President of, and the President of the United States, that could lead to High Crimes and Misdemeanors, then we will join you if you introduce such a resolution."

SPECTATOR: With House Resolution 333, you have that right now, do you not?

CONYERS: No, I, I, this is something that we are working on right now. We don't have it right now.

SPECTATOR: We do have House Resolution 333.

CONYERS: I'm talking about more. Look. And so let us, let us see how many people would be willing to back us up, in addition to the ones –

SPECTATOR: Maxine Waters.

CONYERS: Let, let us, let us stay in close communication. These are decisions that should not be taken lightly. We have, I want to examine and put forward as we move along a close, critical examination of all of the benefits and the costs involved in making this momentous decision. It's easy to say that this is an easy, this is a no brainer, the logic is all on one side, and I wish that were so. If it were so, you would be here congratulating me for doing what you had been asking me and others to do for so long.

So let's think soberly about it. There is no, let's say, now is the time and we don't have to worry about the future. I, with due respect, disagree with that. I have to think about the future. I have to weigh what this, the impact of this is going to be. And, by the way, you probably know, that there is such a thing as the retroactive impeachment process.

SPECTATORS: No, what's that? Tell us more.

CONYERS: If you introduced the resolution of impeachment after the person is gone.

SPECTATOR: Really? Wow!

CONYERS: When, I just, I just want you to know about all of the things. I am so glad that Bill Moyers did what he did. Those CDs and, we have to, print, and we want everybody to listen to them carefully and think seriously on this matter.

Video and transcript by Richard Matthews (I think).

democrats.com
By David Swanson
On July 20th, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers discussed the prospects for impeachment at greater length than has previously been widely reported. What has previously been known is that Congressman Conyers gave a speech in San Diego at which he said:"We need to have three Members of Congress from anywhere come and say, 'Congressman, if you… if you are willing to support an inquiry into a resolution of whether there had been acts of impeachability conducted by, the Vice President of, and the President of the United States, that could lead to High Crimes and Misdemeanors, then we will join you if you introduce such a resolution.'"
The transcript and video of these remarks are posted online:
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/25051
It has also been widely reported that three days later in Washington, D.C., Conyers told a group of citizens that he did not intend to pursue impeachment. About 47 of us were arrested that day in his office.
Now an interview has surfaced that Conyers gave on the evening of the 20th discussing impeachment at somewhat greater length. The audio and transcript are posted online: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/25254

(Original Article)

By David Swanson

On July 20th, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers discussed the prospects for impeachment at greater length than has previously been widely reported. What has previously been known is that Congressman Conyers gave a speech in San Diego at which he said:

"We need to have three Members of Congress from anywhere come and say, 'Congressman, if you... if you are willing to support an inquiry into a resolution of whether there had been acts of impeachability conducted by, the Vice President of, and the President of the United States, that could lead to High Crimes and Misdemeanors, then we will join you if you introduce such a resolution.'"

The transcript and video of these remarks are posted online:
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/25051

It has also been widely reported that three days later in Washington, D.C., Conyers told a group of citizens that he did not intend to pursue impeachment. About 47 of us were arrested that day in his office.

Now an interview has surfaced that Conyers gave on the evening of the 20th discussing impeachment at somewhat greater length. The audio and transcript are posted online:
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/25254

In this audio, Conyers asserts that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush. This appears to be false, as there has been no such bill entered into the Congressional Record, and Congressman Jackson's office has not announced it. Jackson did release a statement in support of impeaching Bush and Cheney, and he has failed thus far to sign onto H Res 333, articles of impeachment against Cheney. Jackson and Congressman Maurice Hinchey are the two Members of Congress who have recently advocated for impeachment without introducing or signing onto any articles. Whether Conyers' comment is based on conversations with Jackson in which he suggested that he would introduce a bill I do not know.

When pressed on the question of what he, John Conyers, intends to do on impeachment, the Congressman hinted that he would act, but did not commit to anything:

"Well, everybody’s entitled to their opinion. There are 435 members of Congress. Nancy Pelosi is entitled to hers, you know, because – she’s more than entitled to hers – she’s the Speaker, the first woman Speaker. But then I’m entitled to mine. So every member can do what they want. I don’t check with Nancy Pelosi to do what I feel I need to do when I introduce consideration of impeachment."

Asked "[W]hat is the 'contempt of Congress' – what are the consequences?" Conyers replied:

"Well, two. Route number one: the U.S. Attorney processes it and we order her to come before the Congress. Route number two: We send out the Marshals in the house and we arrest the person and bring them in in handcuffs."

Asked whether failure to impeach Cheney or Bush would set a precedent for future administrations, permitting them to operate outside the rule of law, Conyers claimed otherwise and expressed great optimism in the Judiciary Branch of Government to handle anything the Legislative Branch fails to address:

"Illegal precedent isn’t a basis to be followed. I mean, doing the wrong thing doesn't help here. Sooner or later this will get into the courts, and even with all the conservative people that Mr. Bush has appointed, we think this is pretty fundamental."

Conyers also offered an argument against impeachment. In an age in which Congress is clearly unable to pass any useful legislation over a presidential veto, much less have the Executive Branch obey the law, Conyers asserted that impeachment would somehow mean enacting even less legislation:

"[I]f we start an impeachment, I want everybody to know that means there’s no more legislation. The Congress will become divided, the White House will enter into this, pro and con, and that’s it."

Yet, even after making such a dubious case against impeachment, Conyers could not help making clear that he knows what the overwhelming case for impeachment is:

"Well, the President has uh…We found out that he has signed over 750 Signing Statements, in which he takes Constitutional exception to the laws that he signed. We didn’t know about it. He was allowing warrantless wiretaps of American citizens. He was saying he can name anybody an Enemy Combatant, including American citizens. We didn’t know that. He was condoning torture of prisoners that we captured, which is very dangerous because they captured some of our troops as prisoners. We found out the FBI was signing National Security letters which require people to divulge personal interests without going to court, and that there were many more of these letters going on than we ever knew about. And, of course, we found out that there were no weapons of mass destruction to begin with, so to claim that America was being jeopardized by Iraq is almost laughable now. And then they outed a CIA agent, because they didn’t like her husband’s comments."

Global Voices for Justice, which interviewed Conyers also interviewed Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/25253 She offered a similar excuse for avoiding impeachment:

"The impeachment process: time intensive, work intensive. This man has 400 and some days left in the Presidency. If we put all of our time and attention on that, then we can't focus in on getting out Iraq, we can't focus in on healthcare for our children, we can't focus in on education, we can't focus in on immigration issues, we can't focus… And I think that leadership has just made a decision that our time and energy and Dollars are better spent on issues that are important to the people of America. Even though we know that George Bush has done a poor job – a very very poor job – and his ratings are down. Think about how much time impeachment takes. It was a lot of months and a lot of time put into impeaching Bill Clinton. George Bush will be out of office before we'll ever have a chance to impeach him."

Asked about setting a precedent for future administrations, Congresswoman Jones claimed that would not happen:

"Allowing an Attorney General to not follow the Constitution. All of that. And even if we don't impeach him, history will write that. We will write that. The American people will have an opportunity to speak on that. Clearly I understand that people would like for there to be impeachment. But more importantly, there are things that I think we need to focus on, and history – and we will write what George Bush has done to our country….But see, the reality is that this is not true power. This is power that he is exercising, but ultimately the courts will determine that he has not that. I mean, just like you're talking about Cheney – he, all of sudden, he's not a part of the Executive Committee. And, believe me, this Congress is exercising oversight that has never been exercised. We've issued subpoenas…."

With all due respect, Congresswoman, they've been rejected. And pretending not to see that is not the way to get historians to remember it later. The crimes President Reagan committed in funding the Contras may have been illegal, but are you reading that in any history books in the schools in your district?

Rep. John Conyers Discusses Impeachment

Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2007-07-30 19:01. Congress Impeachment

The distinguished Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and National PDA Advisory Board Member Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) attended the Tri-Caucus Minority Health Summit in San Diego, California on July 20-21, 2007, along with PDA Board Member Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) and several other elected, including other Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) members, Rep.William "Lacy" Clay (D-Missouri), Rep. Bob Filner (D-California), Rep. Mike Honda (D-California), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin), and Rep. Hilda Solis (D-California). Mansoor Sabbagh, Director of Global Voices for Justice ( www.globalvoicesforjustice.org ), traveled from Los Angeles to San Diego to record Congressman Conyers’ talk, and was also able to conduct an interview with him that evening (as well with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones).

Following is a transcript of those interviews:
(Jeanne Kyle, Production Manager, edited the transcription.)

PLAY AUDIO

Mansoor Sabbagh: Thank you very much for giving a few minutes of your time.

John Conyers: Tell me who you are and what organization?

MS: My name is Mansoor Sabbagh and I have an organization called Global Voices for Justice and I work with Pacifica Radio Stations.

JC: Pacifica! Pacifica is the best radio station in America, bar none.

MS: Thank you very much, yes. Sir if you do not mind, to just get to the point of now that you are the chair of Judiciary Committee, the question comes up that where is the impeachment at right now. Because Nancy Pelosi has sort of have muzzled the whole issue. Where do we stand on that?

JC: Well, Kucinich has introduced impeachment of, uh…

MS: HRes 333

JC: …of Vice President Cheney. Jessie Jackson has introduced impeachment resolution of Bush, and the numbers are growing – that’s where we stand. And of course the President is out of touch with reality. And, he acts like everything is going great as he goes lower and lower in the polls. It’s amazing! We’re thinking about bringing in psychiatrists with political backgrounds to help us figure out how to deal with him. It’s really bad! We’ve never been in this situation in America before with someone like this in the White House.

MS: Sir, but the question is now that you chair the Judiciary Committee, it feels like that you and the issues that you brought up before November 2006 election been put on the back burner.

JC: Well, everybody’s entitled to their opinion. There are 435 members of Congress. Nancy Pelosi is entitled to hers, you know, because – she’s more than entitled to hers – she’s the Speaker, the first woman Speaker. But then I’m entitled to mine. So every member can do what they want. I don’t check with Nancy Pelosi to do what I feel I need to do when I introduce consideration of impeachment.

MS: Sir, the next question is with all that is happening, with the gag rule that’s been put forth by George Bush, especially with Harriet Meirs, and with the people who are supposed to be subpoenaed and appear in front of the Congress and he’s telling them, “Don’t show,” what do we do from here? Where do we go from here?

JC: We hold them in contempt of Congress for not responding to a legal subpoena.

MS: And what is the “contempt of Congress” – what are the consequences?

JC: Well, two. Route number one: the U.S. Attorney processes it and we order her to come before the Congress. Route number two: We send out the Marshals in the house and we arrest the person and bring them in handcuffs.

MS: The latter option is when the first option, which is when the Attorney General will not carry out his duty.

JC: Well that would be my impression. You see are very nice people in the Judiciary Committee. So we, first we write a friendly letter asking you to come before the Committee.
The second, we urge that you come. The third, we point out that there is a subpoena process. Now Harriet Meirs is a former Adviser to the President and a candidate to the United States Supreme Court. I think she knows all these rules – you learned this in maybe your first year in law school. So, she agreed to come, and then she announced she wasn’t going to come.

Now, you can come, if you are polite, you bring your lawyer, you come before the Committee, and you explain that because of the Fifth Amendment, because of Executive Privilege, because of something you read, you’re not going to testify. And we say, well, okay, it’s your prerogative.

We have other ways, we have other means, you know, I’ve got quite a few lawyers around the Judiciary Committee, so it’s not like we don’t know what the process is. But yesterday the President of the United States said he was ordering his U.S. Attorneys not to honor our process to bring Harriet Meirs before the Committee.

In other words, he’s determining the question of Executive Privilege on his own. I mean, he doesn’t need a court; he doesn’t need the Judiciary Committee, and he’s just saying, “Forget it.” Well… I don’t think the American people will want me to say, “Well, I can’t – I tried, and it didn’t work.”

They want me to take action. And in this case, I don’t mind taking action. I’ve got a duty, and an obligation, and they gave me a responsibility that I really didn’t want. I didn’t want to do it the more difficult way. I wanted to do it smoothly, without personality, without rancor.

But, they thumbed their nose at us, and then, of course, that gets members' emotions up. So we’ve got to do what they are forcing us to do. In other words, we’re going to have to make sure that we get her before the Committee, because if we don’t, it means that everybody that doesn’t want to testify can do the same thing.

MS: That is exactly takes me to my next question. What if we don’t, we cannot, he doesn’t, or he won't or we cannot get him to come, and then the next President in 2008 gets elected and they can follow suit.

JC: No, they can’t.

MS: Could you explain that please?

JC: Illegal precedent isn’t a basis to be followed. I mean, doing the wrong thing doesn’t help here. Sooner or later this will get into the courts, and even with all the conservative people that Mr. Bush has appointed, we think this is pretty fundamental.

MS: Earlier you have mentioned that there is a chance still to impeach him after he has…

JC: Oh, well, impeachment can follow a person – you don’t have to be in office to get impeached. You can get impeached for something you did while you were in office.

I hope that some of the people that want action now become aware of that, because we’re caught between all the legislation, you know, we’re supposed to be doing something besides finding out what he did before it was leaked, the warrantless wire taps, politicization of the Department of Justice – all of this – it keeps going on and on.

But we’ve got a job – we’re supposed to be creating legislation for the country! This wasn’t…we didn’t plan all this. But they keep forcing us to divert our attention from very important issues, like correcting the criminal justice system, like dealing with medical bankruptcy, which is a Judiciary Committee issue.

So… We’ve got to make sure that we don’t let – even with these things – that they block us. And if we start an impeachment, I want everybody to know that means there’s no more legislation. The Congress will become divided, the White House will enter into this, pro and con, and that’s it.

MS: Sir, right now we are in a constitutional crisis. Could you elaborate on that?

JC: Well, the President has uh…We found out that he has signed over 750 Signing Statements, in which he takes Constitutional exception to the laws that he signed.

We didn’t know about it. He was allowing warrantless wiretaps of American citizens. He was saying he can name anybody an Enemy Combatant, including American citizens.

We didn’t know that.

He was condoning torture of prisoners that we captured, which is very dangerous because they captured some of our troops as prisoners.

We found out the FBI was signing National Security letters which require people to divulge personal interests without going to court, and that there were many more of these letters going on than we ever knew about.

And, of course, we found out that there were no weapons of mass destruction to begin with, so to claim that America was being jeopardized by Iraq is almost laughable now. And then they outed a CIA agent, because they didn’t like her husband’s comments.

MS: Sir, you have dedicated your life to peace and justice movement in this country over four decades. How would you like us to remember you – what would be your legacy?

JC: I cannot dictate how my legacy should be appreciated by those who will be measuring me. I don’t want to tell them what I want them to do – I want them to come to their own conclusions.

MS: Thank you very much sir.

Can You Believe This Shit?

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