Thursday, May 18, 2006

Who Said Impeachment?

John Conyers says he’s not planning on impeaching George W. Bush as soon as the Democrats take power.

As Republicans have become increasingly nervous about whether they will be able to maintain control of the House in the midterm elections, they have resorted to the straw-man strategy of identifying a parade of horrors to come if Democrats gain the majority. Among these is the assertion that I, as the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, would immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

I will not do that. I readily admit that I have been quite vigorous, if not relentless, in questioning the administration. The allegations I have raised are grave, serious, well known, and based on reliable media reports and the accounts of former administration officials.

But none of these allegations can be proved or disproved until the administration answers questions.


The committee’s job would be to obtain answers — finally. At the end of the process, if — and only if — the select committee, acting on a bipartisan basis, finds evidence of potentially impeachable offenses, it would forward that information to the Judiciary Committee. This threshold of bipartisanship is appropriate, I believe, when dealing with an issue of this magnitude.

In other words, the Democrats would actually follow the rule of law. The reason the Republicans are so uptight about that is because that’s a completely foreign concept to them nowadays.