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. John

    It's too late!! Should of talked about that two years ago , but Nancy P. the head of the Dem. party would not let anyone hear about Bush impeachment. That's why i dont like the Dem. and thier Fake Obama! Don't throw away your vote on a nobody like Obama. We need a real leader with proven Leader ship shill to save this dying Nation. McCain can make this Country a better place for all to live!!

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

    Republicans will do anything except protect our freedom and our constituion....

    The proof is in how the behaved in the past 7+ years.

    July 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. G. Rader, Cincinnati, Ohio

    We need a system where the president can be removed from office much more easily than impeachment. His actions don't have to be a criminal to be incompetent and dangerous. Democracies that actually work (ie ones outside the USA), can remove a leader with a simple vote of no-confidence at any time – we need that too.

    Forget about Bush – we have to overhaul the whole electoral system completely, to make sure it can't happen again. The system we have now is the laughing stock of the whole democratic world .

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Charlie VandenHoek

    Its never too late to do the right thing. Impeach Bush now.

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Burt

    Must be getting close to election time. Let the posturing begin.

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Black 35 year old male for McCain

    If it hadn't been for the treason of Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright, George Bush would not have had to take the totally legitimate steps he had to take with Iraq. There shoud be public treason trials followed by public executions for Bill and Madeline after their conviction.

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Christian

    It is too late to be meaningful, other than just symbolism. However, it's always been clear for at least the past few years that if the Democrats really wanted to impeach Bush they could very possibly get the votes to do it, certainly in the House. While Bush hasn't quite trampled the Constitution like Nixon did, he has indeed crossed the line or gotten close enough to it to make an impeachment something to at least consider.

    But the Democrats would never risk the backfire in an election year for something that was just pure show at this point.

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Richie

    This will at least be a symbolic effort, even if it ends up with the president being pardoned like Clinton. I don't understand how we can impeach a president for lying about having a sexual affair and not impeach a president for lying about starting a war.

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Constanze

    What if Bush were to face an International Tribunal (like the Nuremberg trials)? This adminstration disregards laws and accords that they see as inconvenient.

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. David

    "It was purely stagecraft"

    Wow, CNN thanks for telling everyone how to feel. Now that you've done that, I guess it's ok for Mr. Bush to keep destroying what's left of the Constitution right? Because that's "purely stagecrafted," as well?

    Too bad you couldn't have posted this little ticker earlier for those that didn't know it was broadcast over CSPAN. But alas, I'm sure you're all too busy following around Obama to his next PR conference.

    Most trusted name in new my ###...

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. NoMccain

    Too little too late Dennis. Nice try you little bulldog, you.
    The question now becomes, do we realy want Cheney to run the country for half a year? No.
    Also, this stir may backlash and cause the Dems to lose the presidential election.
    Think it over.

    July 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Scy

    Well, the Germans did nothing to get rid of their war criminals either.

    July 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. RDain

    Doesn't this man know that impeachment is only reserved for the most serious crimes committed by a president, like lying about oral sex?

    How could lying about a war that leads to the death and maiming of hundred of thousands of people while throwing a country into financial turmoil be of any importance?

    Come on, we need to get our priorities in order.

    July 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Shawn

    To clarify my comment. The fact that Kucinich is at the bottom of the picture emphasizes to those who are familiar with him, that he is short. LOL!! You guys are the best!

    July 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. bernie

    Go Dennis! 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 multiple times, defied the Supreme Court repeatedly, and deserves to be removed from office more than any past chief executive - including Andrew Johnson.

    July 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Tom from Pennsylvania

    Too long over due!!!

    If what Clinton did was impeachable, then surely what Bush, Cheney, and their goons have done is criminal.

    July 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Vietnam Vet

    We have heard this rhetoric before- – -Congress don'thave the balls.
    Start the procedure to conveict him of war crimes and murder and treason. He can stand trial in Iraq first. That way we won't have to spend the money to take hime to trial here. They carry out their executions within 30 days.

    Post this CNN you Cowards – My last three rants were not!

    July 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Louis Levario

    Impeach the whole lot of politicans in Washington D.C.
    The whole lot are worthless bunch of scumbags..
    We need a new govement in D.C.
    Somebody that going to represent the American People.

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

    As a punishment Bush and Cheney should be forced to live in a FEMA trailer for one year...together. Cheney cooks and Bush cleans the toilet.

    July 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Brad

    Hang him high.

    July 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Patrick

    I like how the Trent Franks rolled out the "emboldens the terrorists" argument. This isn't about terrorism, it's about what we have done to ourselves. And, by the way, oversight of the Executive Branch is congresses job. Is this theater? Sure. But it also sets the stage for future action taken against executive power gone too far, should it happen in the future. We should stand up and say that these things were not acceptable even if we can't do anything about it now, so when it starts to happen again, it won't take seven years to put an end to the nonsense.

    July 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Casey, Tennessee

    I would just as soon Bush not be impeached given that I live in Greeneville, TN, the home of Andrew Johnson. Up until President Clinton was impeached, Johnson was the only other President to ever face impeachment proceedings. I sure don't want to see our little town's claim to fame smeared by placing Johnson (a far finer President than the one we have now) in the same league as W.

    July 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Waste of Tax money and time

    I thought the Democratic leadership promised the American people during the 2006 elections that they would not do this act. Again, they fail to keep their promises. I guess we should, also, impeach Clinton again for the faulty intelligence and reduction of the CIA (human intelligence) that lead to the faulty war. Did he produce anyone who actually lost their constitutional rights at the hearing? Let me answer that question, NO! How about really working and provide the American people solutions to the Social Security problem, Medicare, high taxes on our corporations, and other issues. No really working and solving issues doesn't satisfy the base of people who vote these politicians into office. It is easier to blame the other party and to do nothing!

    July 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. bushh8r1

    Is it just me or is the totally arrogant, self righteous can't touch me attitude of Republicans every time impeachment is mentioned the most insulting , fatuous slap to the face of America in recent history?

    July 25, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Curt

    I have to hand it to Kucinich, he has more principles than the entire republican and democratic parties combined. Of course, "the machine" will not allow justice to happen. The only thing that is going to stop the demise of the US from the hands of the politicians is an old fashioned revolution. Get out your headbands, beads and protest signs and get it started. Gen-Xers can't do it. It's us old time "hippies" who know how to get things done.

    Rage against the machine.

    July 25, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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