Kucinich says Obama is committing 'impeachable offense'
March 21st, 2011
02:54 PM ET
12 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. CNN watcher

    Kucinich doesn't know how the UN or how Congress works. Moron.

    March 21, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Lance

    Dennis Kucinich is the reason GOP stays in power longer than Dems. GOP sdupport their Presidents publicly while Dems say insipid things like this trying to act morally superior then cry when GOP gets back in charge. Makes me sick

    March 21, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Red79

    The President is commander in chief, he authorized military action, not war. The President can authorize any military action short of war.

    March 21, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. A Real American

    Settle down, Dennis. Libya will play out just like every other country we've poked our noses into lately. We'll replace a despotic tyrant with a despotic capitalist tool and the people will be just as bad off as they were before except now they will have no infrastructure. And the Chinese will wind up getting the oil. They'll defund our social safety net to pay for it while convincing the less educated among us that said social safety net is the reason the country is going broke.

    March 21, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Welcome to Reality

    From the article: "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."

    Really??? So If I go out and steal a ton of merchandise from a store, I may not need to go to jail? If I break the law, I may not have to suffer the consequences of it??

    March 21, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Sad day in US

    Isn't weird that the only ones making any sense in DC anymore are the ones people call nutjobs? Of course I'm referring to Kucinich, Ron Paul, and Bernie Sanders. Both sides have decided to no longer go by the law of the land. When will this stop? Those laws are there for a reason.

    March 21, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Irma in North Carolina

    Why dont you go join Sarah and the rest of tea party gang. You fit in good there.

    March 21, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    How's the tooth feel, Dennis? Still under the anasthesia? Enjoying your settlement?

    Here is a wake-up for you: he does not need your approval for this. He spent several weeks dealing with this, and I assume you saw the news occaisionally. Now please go back to figuring our how you are going to keep your seat after re-districting occurs. I'm a Democrat, and Kucinich is an embarrassment.

    March 21, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Justin

    We did not declare war on Libya. We are participating in a U. N. "no fly zone"... had we done this without the U. N. it would have recquired a declaration of war and congress's approval.

    March 21, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. A Kickin' Donkey

    Good luck with that Dennis. I suppose he would want us to want and get Congressional approval before using a drone to attack Bin Laden in the mountains of Nepal because we do not have a Congressional Declaration of War against Nepal, right?

    Now, I think this is impeachment comment is absolutely looney in reality; however, to the theoretical letter of the Constitution, he may have a point. As such, I am surprised that those most staunch, self-described defenders of the Constitution of 1787 – the TEA PARTIERS – are not also joining Kucinich in this rant.

    March 21, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Moderate Sean

    As a moderate, I have to say that Rep. Kucinich is so far off the base, his head is spinning! Sometimes I wonder where he comes up with these crazy assertions. Take a deep breath, breathe a bit slower sir to allow more oxygen into that brain of yours....really, 'impeachable offenses'? Wow...!

    March 21, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Mark

    At least some liberals stick to their core values

    March 21, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Nick

    Looks like some Dems are disappointed to learn that Obama is earning merit as a decisive and effective war-time president.
    I have complete confidence that he is acting in our and their best interests... and with the support and acquiescence of our allies.

    March 21, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. California Conservative

    Kucinich, tell us something we didn't already know.

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

    I recall President Bush got congress to go along with the invasion of (insert name of country here)__________Iraq, after (insert name of dictator here)_____________ Sadam invaded Kuwait and also put together a coalition of numerous countries to include Great Britain and...oh, does anyone remember when Sadam invaded Kuwait and torched the oil wells and we had a treaty with Kuwait that said we would come to their aid and...oh excuse me, I digress...where was I? Oh yes, congressional authorization...and then we did a no fly zone for some time over Iraq and oh, there I go again, leaving the current topic of Libya...Oh, I give up...it is too hard to keep these two identical situations separate, even though the Democrats would like us to believe that they are. The truth is, they are one and the same...who cares about WMDs...thanks George W. for stirring that Hornet's nest and getting this democracy thing moving along...all those Arabs and Iranians and yemens etc getting jealous over other people having freedom, after living so long under those dictators thumbs...got to love it. Thanks again George ( I see the non believer Obama is following in your footsteps), the world is changing and you will go down as the person who moved everything in the right direction.

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

    What part of COMMANDER IN CHIEF do you not get Kucinich? Hush up, go sit in the corner with a paper sackfull of peaches and be happy theres a president in the white house who has the strength to use the powers he's given with wisdom and restraint.

    March 21, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Chris Willett

    In doing this, Mr. Kucinich fights for principles over party and places the national interest above his own political interest. It's too bad we can't clone him.

    March 21, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. maf

    So Congress is going to go AGAINST a UN Resolution??? Impeachable???
    Give your heads a shake!! This was not a US decision on its own, it was not a Presidential decision on its own.
    Congress can't agree on anything at the moment, let's just allow international crap happen so that Congress can be brought up to speed. . . don't think so!

    March 21, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. gentwelve

    like a spoild little child this guy needs to be put in the cirner

    March 21, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Rsprings

    Kucinich continues to be a joke. Why do the people of Ohio continue to reelect this guy?

    March 21, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. R C Johnston

    In case you ain't noticed this country has not been in a war since Dec 9 1941. However that hasn't stopped presidents from sending troops all over the world at their whim. Korea, Grenada, Iraq, Afganistan to name a few.
    Get with the program gents...

    March 21, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Chris

    I really wish these politicians on both sides of the isle would just be quiet and do their job. These are the same people claiming teachers are overpaid when they make $170,000 to do nothing.

    There has been a long precedence in just consulting congress before these types of air strikes. Ronald Reagan attacked Libya in 1986 without congressional approval but he did talk with leadership in congress before any action just like Obama. The only difference now is everyone is looking for cheap political points when there rest of the country has a million other problems. We didn't vote for you people so you can fulfill your narcissistic need to see your face on TV. Get to work and earned those outlandish salaries and benefits you don't deserve.

    March 21, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. gt

    dennis is right .... no more american blood shed in the middle east.....obama is not king or war lord,,,impeach obama if one more of our troops get killed... let obama go fight if he want to so bad....not one more young american needs to die....

    March 21, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. DJ in TX

    This guy needs to just shut up. But also if Obama has issues with the far left (like Kucinich) AND the far right, then he's in a good place. Kucinich tried the same thing with Bush and failed (and yes I'm a democrat and disagreed with the Iraq war). But it was NOT an impeachable offense. Now if the GOP jumps on this bandwagon, then we'll know they are political grandstanding. They are the ones who PUSHED for action.

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

    Given that most of Congress apparently wanted U.S. intervention even sooner and would certainly have voted for it, Mr. Kucinich's comments sound very self-serving, as if he has a personal career agenda in even raising this issue.

    March 21, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6