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. AmaLeigh

    I'm sure this jack has been waiting to threaten impeachment for Obama. If Obama hadn't acted in Libya...he would be threatened with impeachment too. This is pathetic. Who elects these ignorant racist fools????

    March 21, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. ja

    his head was buried in the sand during the bush era, sudddenly, there is suppose enlightment

    March 21, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. fayse

    One more thing, the news reports say that the President was in constant contact with Boehner and other leaders during the negotiation process.

    March 21, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Mike Whitehead

    You just can't get better drama than this. Is this lions eating their young or the young eating the lions. Either way, it makes for great debate. http://www.ISeeDanger.com

    March 21, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So the Republicans lambaste him for not dropping a Nuke on Libya a month ago and the Democrats are after him for following up on a UN resolution. Of course, coming from a member of congress who is so far to the left he makes Bernie Sanders look like a foam-at-the-mouth Conservative, I have to take it with a grain of salt.

    March 21, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. AverageJoe,Dallas

    Why? Why do you need the authorization by a bunch of guys who have failed this country? Oh, you may be worried of losing another opportunity to demonstrate your loyalty to the lobbyisys! One decision maker is more than enough for American folks. We will save time and money. And keep our sanity.

    March 21, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Umm Me

    Ummm, aren't we acting under the governance of the UN? Isn't the president the head of the dept of Defense?

    March 21, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. anonymous

    You would think someone who has run for president and is a member of Congress would know about the War Powers that the president possesses. The president cnaa commit troops for 60 days without a Congressional declaration of war.

    March 21, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. ST

    Kucinich always loves the title "trouble maker"!

    March 21, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Paul

    Kucinich is a liberal wackjob.

    March 21, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. inthenavy

    to bad we did not declare war....

    March 21, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Oregon Calling

    Yet anything that a Republican does is above questioning................Right..........................

    Peace :-)

    March 21, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. jeff, alabama

    Come on guys, everybody
    in America knows that democrat's
    desires trump our constitution.
    Democrats only like the parts
    of the constitution that they benefit
    from.Everybody else can just
    kiss their butts. That's their
    mindsets.

    March 21, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Thomas

    A good question. Upon what authority does President Obama have to commit US military forces?

    Under the War Powers Act he has the right to commit US military forces for 30 days before reporting to and asking congress.

    March 21, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Robert

    It was just a matter of time. POTUS is accustomed to not enforcing laws currently on the books and manipulating any and all other situations. It is clear it is a violation – and where there is one.........there are many.

    March 21, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. slaggingham

    Time for people to wake up and realize Kucinich is a nut.

    March 21, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    Kucinich is getting more press from his silly little whine than the whine is worth.
    An objective examination of President Obama's posture regarding our reaction to Gadhafi's outrage will show Obama's brilliant handling of the problem in alliance with other world leaders.
    This is a moment for America to be proud of its President.
    It is also a moment to remind Kucinich that the President did not declare war: he ordered a military protection of some human beings in Libya.
    If FDR had ordered such a protection of some human beings in Europe, nobody would have suggested impeachment.

    March 21, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. JohnR

    Give the guy credit for consistency.

    March 21, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Eric

    Telegraphing our actions in this case would probably not have been a good idea.

    March 21, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. copanut

    One thing is for sure. Obama has ticked off both the far left and the far right. That must mean he's got things just about right.

    March 21, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Robert Harris

    I am a big supporter of President Obama; but I think Kucunich has a point. What's interesting is that he's not suggesting that he be impeached; but he sure lays the groundwork for somebody else - and this will be major fodder for the conservative press.

    March 21, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Well, Kucinich just gave the GOP it's next 6 years of agenda. Go read the War Power Act, pal, then think back to Iraq, Kosovo, Somalia, Granada...or even way back to Barbary. The precedent exists for the POTUS to do what Obama did. Is that unfortunate? Yes. Does that make it an impeachable offense? No. Of course, now we won't hear anything but talk of impeachment from the right for the next 6 years: "Jobs? Economy? What jobs? What economy? We've got an excuse to tie up congress with impeachment proceedings baby...and boy are we gonna take it!"

    March 21, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Briana

    The dude is fighting a losing battle. Regardless of whether or not it was the right decision. In order to be in violation, the President would have actually had to try and declare war, which is not the same as authorizing military action. *shrug* Best of luck with that loophole Kucinich.

    March 21, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. saiga762

    Constitution, constishushen...it means nothing to Barry. An attempt to help his moooslim brotherhood was made by him alone. Will he be impeached, I could only hope so but nobody has the sack to bring those charges up against him. Heck, nobody in DC has the sack to ask to see his college transcripts or long form birth certificate.

    March 21, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Correction 60 days.

    March 21, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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