Kucinich talks impeachment, threatens military funding for Libya
March 22nd, 2011
11:35 AM ET
4 years ago

Kucinich talks impeachment, threatens military funding for Libya

Washington (CNN) After declaring President Obama's decision to order airstrikes on Libya a potential "impeachable offense," Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich is calling for an immediate halt to all funds for any further military action in the conflict.

"Now the immediate thing that Congress needs to do when it returns is to cut off any funds for continuing in Libya and I intend to bring forward such an amendment," Kucinich said in an interview with CNN, noting any legislative action would have to wait until after the current Congressional recess.


White House officials insist the President's actions are well within the law, pointing to a letter sent by Mr. Obama to House Speaker John Boehner Monday. The letter emphasizes the airstrikes are part of an international mission to enforce a "no-fly zone" authorized by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

The letter, the administration argues, satisfies the War Powers Act which requires the President to inform Congress within 48 hours of engaging in any military action.

"Our view is a mission of this kind which is time limited, well defined and discreet clearly falls within the president's constitutional authority," said Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes at a press briefing Monday.

Rhodes noted President Obama is following the lead taken by his recent predecessors. "If you actually look at precedent, President Clinton pursued the intervention in Bosnia. He did not have congressional authorization but he did provide a letter consistent with the War Powers Act," Rhodes said.

Kucinich points to Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which places the power to "declare war" in the hands of Congress.

"It is very clear that what President Obama did is beyond what the Constitution permits a president to do. That really isn't disputable," Kucinich argued.

In a series of interviews on Monday, Kucinich suggested the President could be impeached for his actions. For now, the anti-war Democrat tells CNN he has no plans to initiate any impeachment proceedings.

"Now, impeachment is a process. I haven't gotten into that. I raised the question as to whether or not (President Obama) exceeded his authority and raising the question as to whether or not it is an impeachable offense," Kucinich said.

One key Democrat in the Senate dismissed any notion of impeachment in a radio interview on Tuesday. Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin told the Bill Press Radio Show there is strong bipartisan support for the U.S. mission in Libya, dubbed Operation Odyssey Dawn.

"I think we ought to focus on what the issues are here," Levin said.

Still, Kucinich has the support of several Republicans who want a closer examination of President Obama's actions in Libya.

Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian Tea Party favorite, also argues the President lacks the Constitutional authority to take direct military action without a vote in Congress.

"My main argument is we don't have the authority. And when we get involved, it generally very rarely does much good," said Paul in an interview on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.


Filed under: CNN • Dennis Kucinich • Libya • President Obama
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Eric

    Pfft. Does anyone really care about what Kucinich says about anything? He's an example of a guy who has so destroyed any semblence of credibility he may have once had that even if he's right about something - were that to ever occur - no one would listen to him anyway.

    March 22, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. dee

    This is for Bill,just what kind of war crimes should our President be charged with? Your a complete idiot,Impeached? Bill,why don,t you focus on your heroes Bush,Chaney! Its people like you,man! Finish High School,chump!

    March 22, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. americancnnwatcherabroad

    Kucinich you are an embarrassment to the people who elected you and to the United States. How is it that a Congressmen doesn't even know the law. It was fully within Obama's power as President. Not only did he hold a briefing with members of congress he also had UN approval.
    Kucinich we are not the only ones who are acting to protect the Libyan people. Would you rather have the US simply stand by and watch while other countries try to stop Gaddafi? If so, the blood of innocent Libyan civilians is on your hands. You really need to go back and have a history lesson and perhaps a politics class as well.

    March 22, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Ted M

    sevenseas, your quote is a smoking gun. Obama is so far over his head that he doesn't know if he's coming or going. His actions dictate that he's lost touch with his own values. As for his Peace Prize: I'm guessing the Nobel group is feeling pretty stupid right about now.

    March 22, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. the obama legacy

    came in on the road of kennedy..singing a song of kings..parked in the shopping mall of reagan..departed on the highway of nixon while rupert murdoch laughed saying..dinner for obama at ruperts guest house of colin powell is always very expensive. next?

    March 22, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. SJC2

    He has some valuable things to say, but in this case he should keep quiet.

    March 22, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    I eagerly await the calls of impeachment and allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity against both Obama and Biden. I've had to listen to the endless droning of the far left kooks against Bush and Cheney for years. It'll be nice to see them go after Obama and Biden for a change. But somehow I doubt we'll see the same intensity.

    March 22, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Glen

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    March 22, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. jonny

    If the Bush/Cheney Admin. and the Congress of 2003 get away with the Wars Based On Lies in Iraq and Afghanistan ,
    then Obama can do what ever he wants with our overpriced military.
    Lets move on .

    March 22, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. nathaniel lindsey

    This President deserves acolades as being the best President since Clinton. When he is right politicians fight him, according to them he never does anything right. kucinich needs to think about not running for office again. I thought you had to be educated to include common sense to become a member of Congress. He is disgrace to the state he represents. Maybe he needs to join the GOP. Libya has been handled wisely. No fear tactics, no weapons of mass destruction fear mongering.
    Mr K needs to considered for impeachable offese, not the President.

    March 22, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Pam

    So, Ted McGovern: Was it was ok when Bush invaded Iraq ?? Was it ok because it was for oil ??

    March 22, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. w l jones

    Whether we as individual or not this is global world and every decision mostly on a ten years plan who know who signal who that change is coming by whom! bless.

    March 22, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Me-Myself & I

    Obama is Commander and Chief he doesn't need Congress approval for an air strike. He needs their approval to declare war and to fund the war. Where do we find these people, can we impeach them?

    March 22, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. dan

    Go join the party you really belong in Kokinich,Tea and Gop! Traitor!!!!!! You would "Scare the crap out of a glass of water" Where do us americans find these idiot politicians,guys like Kokinich,show us your birth certification? Traitor!

    March 22, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Sue

    Kucinich is right. Bush got Congressional approval before Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama is the President, not the king.
    I agee with Kucinich as well--start the impeachment process. Obama is going to have a little more difficulty with fund raising!!!

    I must say.....Even though I do not agree with the political positions of Kucinich and Michael Moore--I definitely respect them more now, being that they are now speaking out against Obama. They proved that they are consistent with their beliefs, not just when it involves a Republican.

    March 22, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. nathaniel lindsey

    Seems like we have had this to happen a few years ago. The President is in a foreign country, and being applauded and appreciated more than the coutry he represents. I n the mean time somone in America wants him Impeached?
    Talking heads with no military experience try to become Generals, with no respect given to the lives of others not by the their government. When Bush was in office it was do what you want to do. Not one recommended impeachment,

    March 22, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. lisaspups

    How said that some of the comments on this board are not based on facts but personal feelings toward the President. He did not start the action in Libya no more than he started the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Yes, he has continued the fight in Iraw and Afghanistant because he has the intelligence and foresight to understand that we cannot just up and run when things get rough.

    The action in Libya is a humanitrian act sanctioned by the UN and paid for by multiple countries, not just the US - unlike the other two wars that were started by President Bush. Please, will all the backseat military strategists actually use yoru intelligence and common sense for something other than taking up space?

    March 22, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. lisaspups

    How said that some of the comments on this board are not based on facts but personal feelings toward the President. He did not start the action in Libya no more than he started the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Yes, he has continued the fight in Iraq and Afghanistant because he has the intelligence and foresight to understand that we cannot just up and run when things get rough.

    The action in Libya is a humanitrian act sanctioned by the UN and paid for by multiple countries, not just the US - unlike the other two wars that were started by President Bush. Please, will all the backseat military strategists actually use yoru intelligence and common sense for something other than taking up space?

    March 22, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. FM

    This man needs to retire. He has much of noises than the substances. I am tired hearing him whining all the time since he got a stage to do so!

    March 22, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Sue

    By the way Libertards.......Bush DID get Congressional approval before Iraq AND Afghanistan.

    Please, at least once do some research, before you post your uninformed, clueless comments.

    March 22, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. John

    This is just another item in a long list of items to impeach Obama on. It's time to START the IMPEACHMENT process.

    March 22, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. ST

    What are the grass root of Kucinich! China or Japan?? If it is Japan, he better talks about helping them instead of talking about Libya!!!

    March 22, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Sgt Schultz

    Give it a rest Dennis. You're sounding like a right-wing extremist now. Yes the wingnuts from BOTH parties are getting out of control. Obama must be doing something right to annoy the Partisan radicals on both sides.

    March 22, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. MG

    Impeachment???? Really Kucinich is actually a Politician?? The President only needs the authority of congress if it is war this is not war it is a humanitarian Security Action, just like Bosnia. The President can use his Executive Power to get around congressional approval in a pinch. May I remind this Jerk about Korea and Vietnam, and Afghanistan.

    March 22, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Shaji Nair

    Kusinich can shut up, sit down and enjoy his benefit of being an American citizen. As a world leader, America has moral and humanitarian responsibilities to this world and Libyan war is part of that Global American Responsibility.

    March 22, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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