July 25th, 2008
07:59 PM ET
15 years ago

Bush impeachment comes up again

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/25/art.kucinich.gi.jpg caption="Kucinich is pushing for the impeachment of President Bush."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - At a crowded Judiciary Committee hearing today, House Democrats talked about impeaching President Bush.... to the disgust of the committee's Republicans.

It was purely stagecraft. The day's star witness, Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, received a noisy ovation filled with cheering, clapping and whistling as he walked into the hearing room. Kucinich, who has introduced articles of impeachment, exhorted the committee to "support and defend the constitution that has been trampled time and again over the last seven years."

The hearing, technically, was not about impeachment but about executive power and its constitutional limitations. Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Michigan, ticked-down a list of items that included, in his words, "the politicization of the Department of Justice, the misuse of signing statements, the misuse of authority with regard to detention, interrogation and rendition, possible manipulation of intelligence regarding the Iraq war, improper retaliation against critics of the administration... and excessive secrecy."

While Conyers called the evidence "both credible and substantial," Republicans scoffed.

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the senior Republican on the committee, dismissed the hearings as "an anger management class."

For more on the impeachment back-and-forth, tune into Campbell Brown: Election Center tonight at 8 pm ET.

"This hearing will not cause us to impeach the president; it will only serve to impeach Congress's credibility," Smith said. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, went further with his criticism, saying Friday’s session "amuses our terrorist friends greatly," and "would make Alice in Wonderland roll her eyes.”

In the end, the committee took no action toward beginning an impeachment inquiry.

soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Lisa


    July 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. dnsmith

    Democratic comments about impeachment of Bush reflects on their nervousness about Obama and fears he will lose in Nov., which he should do if this country is to survive.

    July 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Cindy Hussein McCain

    VOTE OBAMA – not crazy old senile McSame !

    July 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Houston Smith

    I doubt that is writer, Joe Von Kanel, even watched the hearing. During the 6 hours Kucinich spoke only twice, at the beginning and end, and not long. Bruce Fein was very eloquent as were many of the other witnesses who were asked very specific questions as to what recourse Congress has to check the power of an executive who overreaches his or her authority.

    It was a serious inquiry, not, as the author says "purely stagecraft".

    July 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Claudia

    Kucinich, who has introduced articles of impeachment, exhorted the committee to "support and defend the constitution that has been trampled time and again over the last seven years."

    Make sure everyone remembers this line if/when we get a democrate for president and lets keep track again on how many times our "constitution gets trampled".

    July 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Ben (Eugene, Oregon)

    I thought this was supposed to happen in the first 100 days that the Dems took control of Congress...Oops. I guess they're just full of hot air. It IS time for change!!!

    Remove all the incumbents from Congress and start over with some fresh blood!!!

    July 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Mark

    How many people died as a result of Clinton's Republican backed impeachable offenses?

    July 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. bernie

    Go, Dennis! But Where are your Wimpy Democratic Colleagues?? It's not too late to impeach Bush 43, and it is merited. He has gutted the U.S. Constitution and has done more harm to freedom and liberty in America than any prior president. Why are the rest of the Democrats in the House and Senate so silent on the impeachment question, when in fact Bush has broken the law and defied the Supreme Court multiple times and deserves to be removed from office more than any past chief executive, moreso even than Andrew Johnson.

    July 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. cevans, tx

    He shouldn't only be impreached, but imprisoned as well!!

    All of them (Bush administration that remains)!!

    July 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. RickyL

    Republicans can scoff and play with sarcasm to their heart's delight, but when the true extent of the damage that George W Bush has wreaked upon the GOP becomes clear this November, they're going to wish they had led the charge on impeachment themselves. Abraham Lincoln, himself, would have trouble getting elected to any national office after the tragi-comic Republican performance of the last eight years. So, fiddle away your last days in power and whistle as you creep past the graveyard, but be sure to fasten your seatbelts, because like they say, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

    July 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. watchdog

    This is important and long overdue. Americans have become far too complacent with unspeakable incompetence. Go for it, Dennis!

    The miracle is that America has survived this long with such intolerable leadership. Press on!

    July 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. John

    It hurts to say it; but, the President and Vice President should both at least be impeached or better yet tried for treason. Due to what they have done to this country they richly deserve one or the other.

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Daniel

    The law needs to be upheld. The president and his lies along with his lying administration have broken laws that have cost the lives of thousands of our soldiers. He should be impeached so his last minute appointments or commutations should not hurt America further. Then held accountable in Hague for war crimes.

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. Shawn

    I've got to hand it to you CNN. I may not agree with your tilt, but the pictures you post up here are hilarious. Your picture has Kucinich at the bottom of the picture. LOL!! I dare you to post this.

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. Doug from CO

    This congress is so useless. Sure Bush trampled on the constitution, but nobody cared enough to do anything about it. Dems had no power, Repubs were to drunk with power to care. Vote them all out and start over.

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. DLF

    The time and resources wasted on impeaching Bush would be much better used to focus on the economy and other important needs of this country.

    History will deal with Bush.

    Let him be.

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. here's a tissue

    poor old kucinich bitter about losing his chance at the presidency...

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Canuck run amock

    So the Republicans try to impeach Clinton for a stained dress (and lying about it) and then scoff when the Democrats talk about impeachment of a President that spies on his own people, puts CIA operatives in danger, sends thousands of young people to their needless deaths, influences the Supreme Court and hides from his constituents on a regular basis.

    And the Republicans are only now worried about the credibility of Congress? Me thinks they've shared one too many Starbucks with Ken Starr.

    By the way, President Bush has done an admirable job of "amusing our terrorist friends" all by himself.

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Deborah

    It's about time...this is news. Not Sen. Obama deciding – rightfully so- not to make the visit of the military in Germany a campaign issue.

    I commend you. Sen Obama for your integrity.


    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. burnt lancaster

    nuremberg happened after the fact, and was not only fun but educational. a lot like the show reading rainbow.

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. non-white & non-black person



    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Bill

    Ya gottA love Dennis. He goes where no other member of this screwey government dares to go. I'm suprised that Cheney hasn't "rendition"ed him! GO DENNIS KUCINICH!!! Take the slaughterers-of-the-constitution down!

    July 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Jonathan

    Bush Co. will never pay for the multiple crimes committed on the american people, and the world. We americans will suffer the gross incompetance of this secretive and selfish administration for many years to come. Justice will never be served. We as americans need to do just one thing. LEARN FROM THIS MISTAKE, and not repeat it.
    History shows that this is highly unlikely. Another imperial dictator will likely find their way into the white house again. Another administration will likely disgrace the executive office will greed and lies. My only hope is that it will be a long time from now.

    July 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. Tony

    This typifies what is wrong with the political system. Go ahead all you Bush haters, let's go ahead and vent, call him a war criminal, Hitler, etc....get it out of your system.

    The bottom line is BOTH parties are ridiculously political, sniping, spoiled little children that care more about hurting each other than they do about making our country better. I'd love to see ALL of them gone and replaced by well-intentioned, non-aligned people...people who vote the way they think is right, NOT down a "party line".

    July 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. xddy4u

    The things Bush are guilty of, are the very things they are still rounding up the Nazis war criminals charged of committing That's why we have a Geneva Accord hammered out after WWII so that such wouldn't happen again to any prisoners of war. But what does the author, the USA , do such to the agreetment? The first NATO nation to breach it after some sixtythree years. Yes that scoudral should be impeached.

    July 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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