Kucinich says Obama is committing 'impeachable offense'
March 21st, 2011
02:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Kucinich says Obama is committing 'impeachable offense'

(CNN) – Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the seven-term liberal Democrat from Ohio who has twice run for the White House, says President Obama committed an "impeachable offense" in deciding to authorize U.S. airstrikes over Libya Saturday without the consent of Congress.

"President Obama moved forward without Congress approving. He didn't have Congressional authorization, he has gone against the Constitution, and that's got to be said," Kucinich told the web site Raw Story on Monday. "It's not even disputable, this isn't even a close question."

"Such an action - that involves putting America's service men and women into harm's way, whether they're in the Air Force or the Navy - is a grave decision that cannot be made by the president alone," the Cleveland-area congressman added.

In a press conference Friday, Obama appeared to suggest U.S. forces would play a limited role in bombing campaigns over Libya: "We will provide the unique capabilities that we can bring to bear to stop the violence against civilians, including enabling our European allies and Arab partners to effectively enforce a no-fly zone," he said

But the U.S. military launched its first airstrikes on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses over the weekend, Obama announced Saturday, saying he had authorized "limited military action in Libya" and that "that action has now begun."

That development outraged Kucinich, who first raised the prospect of impeachment on a Saturday conference call with liberal democrats, according to Politico.

Speaking to Raw Story, Kucinich said he does not necessarily think the president should be impeached, but is convinced he has committed an offense which would justify that most-serious punishment.

"I'm raising the question as to whether or not it's an impeachable offense. It would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense," he said. "Now, it doesn't necessarily follow that simply because a president has committed an impeachable offense, that the process should start to impeach and remove him."

In a statement on his website Friday, Kucinich made clear he thinks Obama has violated Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which grants Congress the exclusive power to declare war.

"Both houses of Congress must weigh in. This is not for the President alone, or for a few high ranking Members of Congress to decide," Kucinich said in the statement on his website.

On Monday, Kucinich sent a fundraising email to supporters in which he criticized the Obama administration's decision to pursue military action in Libya.

"We are bombing Libya right now. Congress did not approve this action, according to the Constitution," Kucinich said in the email. "Such an action lacks legality in the United States and the President should have to answer to that. I mean this isn't anything that is a small matter. It's a very grave matter, actually. Stand up. Contribute."

Kucinich unsuccessfully sought to initiate Articles of Impeachment against President Bush in 2008 over the Iraq War. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi halted the effort.


Filed under: Dennis Kucinich
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. thefixer

    just goes to show, Nancy Pelosi=Shmanzy Belogna

    Replublicrat/Demopublican scumbags and their banker/ wall street co-conspirators who dont give a damn about the republic or the American people,. we have been under siege for over 100 years by these gangsters.!

    March 21, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. KatR

    Kucinich is wrong. It's correct that the Constitution specifies that only Congress can declare war. However, Pres. Obama did not declare war on Libya. It is well within the President's role as Commander in Chief to direct our troops to take military action. This has been a grey area in the Constitution exposed after Pres. Nixon escalated military action in SE Asia w/o consulting with Congress. Congress passed War Powers legislation after that and it is what Pres. Bush used when he decided to invade Iraq. We may need a Constitutional amendment to clear up this ambiguity as when the Constitution was written there was no international organization known as the United Nations. Pres. Obama is acting as part of a UN resolution...not in the interest of the USA, but rather as an international consensus as to what needed to be done to restore peace to Libya.

    March 21, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Jeremiah

    It is very, very rare that I agree with Rep. Kucinich on anything, but this time he is 100% correct.

    What I find even more troubling is how NOBODY else is making the same declaration. No members of Congress, no drive-by media, no pundits....nobody.

    guess we have all become so accustomed to King Obama doing whatever he wants, the Constitution be damned, that we don't even notice it anymore even when it's this blatant.

    March 21, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. usa/canada

    impeachment ! impeachment ! you talking about impeachment ! ! !

    March 21, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. jeanne

    WTF? you people gave this rat a cookie, now he's thirsty......why are we there in the firt place? go help japan, and feed the starving in this country.....let these foreign countries kill each other...thats what they want to do...............

    March 21, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Quinton

    Hmmm, guess he is getting ready to run for the white house..

    March 21, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Moonbeam

    By the way, if I am correct in my above assumption, I think Mr. Kucinich might do well to consider a facelift as his first move toward career advancement.

    March 21, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Steve

    "President Obama moved forward without Congress approving. He didn't have Congressional authorization, he has gone against the Constitution, and that's got to be said," Kucinich told the web site Raw Story on Monday.

    "Speaking to Raw Story, Kucinich said he does not necessarily think the president should be impeached, but is convinced he has committed an offense which would justify that most-serious punishment."

    Huh? Dennis, what world are you living in?

    March 21, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Michael

    Sorry, Dennis, it'll never work. However, it is nice to hear from you again. Bye, now.

    March 21, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Diane P

    POTUS can't approval from the GOP Teaparty for anything!

    March 21, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Unlike The Shrub, President Obama did NOTdeclare war against an innocent country, he is providing the assistance of our Air Force in a multi-country, UN sanctioned effort to protect innocent civilians. If he jumped the Constitutional "gun" then let's take the appropriate steps and seek Congress' approval to proceed with our humanitarian participation in this effort.

    Surely, after the trillions of dollars that The Shrub managed to keep OFF THE BOOKS in his personal, unsanctioned war against a country that had done NOTHING to us, and him being able to walk away UNSCATHED , UNPUNISHED, and UN-SANCTIONED by Congress, his fellow cohorts in government, and the citizens of this country, SURELY we can straighten THIS out without much ado about NOTHING.

    SURELY.

    March 21, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Andrew

    Guess the War Powers resolution means nothing to these people. The President can authorize the presence and use of the Armed forces for up to 60 days before seeking Congressional approval...

    March 21, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Tired of both the bickering!

    Both houses of Congress cannot agree on "what to eat for lunch". How would they ever decide if we should help other nations in Libya!!!

    March 21, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I wish lil' Kucinich WOULD try and start some stuff behind this.
    The Shrub screwed up so badly that he can't even leave the country, but I don't see anybody bustin' a move to drag his butt anywhere near a tribunal.

    I wish he would......

    March 21, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    I think a Constitutional Scholar (who also taught constitutional law at a university) knows more than Dennis. But it will give the republicans another lie to put on the list - birthers, muslim, etc.

    March 21, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Bruce

    LOL, looks like the Dummycrats are starting to eat their young.

    March 21, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. palermo

    Kucinich needs to read the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548).

    March 21, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Bill in California

    I am NOT an Obama supporter in any way, shape or form but it would be ridiculous to wait for a Congress who can't even pass a budget to save their own political lives.

    March 21, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. S. In California

    Yet another LOSER who is still upset he lost against our most capable president. When I heard what was going on in Libya Saturday, I didn't give it another thought because I knew it was well thought out and ALL options had been weighed. Mr. "I'll sue because of a cracked tooth" Kucinich has put all my doubts to rest for I now am convinced he is mentally unstable and is totally unfit to suggest anything.

    March 21, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Paul

    He didn't need congress... that's part of the Bush Era Patriot Act. Why didn't you have a problem with that before Obama?

    March 21, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    This should be good – all of the uber liberals are going to come down hard on Kucinich for going against Obama. Can't wait to read the posts. Pass the popcorn!

    March 21, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. al in memphis

    Congress can't even agree on a budget, so how you going to get agreement on this. Although, you can bet the Republicans will be pushing this as hard as they push for tax breaks for the rich and oil companies.
    I think have member of congress occupy offices and not come up with solutions is an impeachable offense.

    March 21, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Serving in Afghanistan

    While I applaud the congressman's passion, it is a little pre-mature. While it is true that the Congress must approve prolonged military action and only Congress has the authority to delcare war. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. Therefore President Obama is perfectly within his right as Commander in Chief to authorize military action in Libia for up to 90 days, if there is still ongoing military operations on the 91st day, and there still isnt a congressional authorization for the use of force, then Mr. Kucinich has a valid argument.

    March 21, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. e01938

    Come on Dennis – do you expect us to believe that he just forgot about it and didn't check it out with anyone? OK – you've had your 15 seconds.

    March 21, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. fayse

    I am certain that the President acted with legal counsel before he decided to join the coalition. I did find it interesting that it was Nancy pelosi that halted the impeachment threats against Bush. And the GOP hates her?

    March 21, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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