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. Mikey

    President Obama must be thinking about that old song. How does it go? "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle...." This is the problem with being centerist. The lunitic right accuses you or being a socialist, while the far left accuses you of being a wall street pawn. Worse yet, due to all the false propaghanda pumped out by the likes of the Koch brothers, etc, the President doesn't even get credit for being the pragmatic, moderate liberal he is.

    March 21, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. geecee

    Go right ahead, Rep. Kucinich, and introduce your articles of impeachment. See how far it gets you. Oh, wait, on this one you will have ALL the Republicans voting with you. They would surely love to get rid of President Obama, even if they actually agreed with him for once. People are amazingly hypocritical and just plain stupid. Moammar Khaddaffy was directly responsible for the PanAm 103 bombing in 1988. We should have got rid of him THEN. Saddam Hussein did not attack the U.S. in any way. So there is a tremendous difference in the Iraq war and this Libyan conflict. It's not a War yet, Rep. Kuciinich, so Pres. Obama did not have to ask for your "permission" to establish the "No-Fly" zone. How long did you want this to wait – until every anti-Khaddafy resident of Libya was murdered by him? We all know how long it takes for an "Act of Congress" to pass!!

    March 21, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Bobby

    Simply not true. I know what's in the War Powers Act. He's just trying to rack up political points.

    March 21, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. marie, MD

    Obama is brilliant. The fact that another democrat would question his motive
    or reason is repulsive. We should follow our president with unquestioned
    loyalty no matter what. The republicans and independents and some democrats
    seem to put the importance of the country over this great man.

    March 21, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Clwyd

    Then bush should have been tried and executed for what he did in Iraq and Afghanistan!

    March 21, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. patcee

    Go Dennis! One of the few politicians who speaks his mind, no matter what. Run again and I will vote for you this time.

    March 21, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    Perhaps Congress ought to start impeachment hearings against Kucinich for threatening to sue its cafeteria for $150,000 over the olive pit that chipped Kucinich's tooth. As one of the more wealthy of Congressionals, Kucinich ought to have no problem covering his legal costs defending himself.

    March 21, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. carrotroot

    I like Kucinich, but I strongly disagree that this is somehow an impeachable offense. This is NOT Iraq, it is clear as day that Qudaffi was bombing his own citizens, something had to be done. And the President did this the right way, he got unanimous 10-0 approval from the UN - which is something Bush did NOT get when we invaded Iraq. The last thing I would expect is to have divisions in our own Congress on this matter.

    March 21, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Dave

    yep, he is following in the footsteps of others. Clinton's Serbia bombing comes to mind. These guys (GOP and dems alike) have no respect for the Constitution, only for the military/industrial/banking complex masters they serve.

    March 21, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. RICO

    I'm from Ohio and I hate to say it, but between Boehner and this guy we have some nut jobs in congress. WE ARE NOT AT WAR. We are assisting in establishing a No- Fly zone, that was implemented by the U.N. not the U.S. alone. I think he is wrong about the President not being able to command an attack like this without congress approval.

    March 21, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    When did President Obama declare war. The President of the United States can engage our military in conflict by notifying Congress in 48 hours, which was done for the no-fly zone and no more and no longer than 60 days. There is no impeachable offense.

    March 21, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Jay G

    While I love to see fools like Kucinich turning on their own party, Kucinich needs to cool his rhetoric and understand that Congress alone has the power to declare war, but that does not give Congress the authority to dictate where and when the military should be used, particuarly in emergencies.

    According to Kucinich, if another country invaded us we would need to wait until Congress intervened and issued a resolution authorizing war before we could defend ourselves.

    This is just an infantile battle over power.

    March 21, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Kucinich, Acticle 1 Section 8 states that only Congress can Declare War. But, as far as I know we have not Declared War on Libya. Your in need of a nap.

    March 21, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Pretzel Logic

    Yawn. How's your tooth Dennis?

    March 21, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. chedar

    Hello Kucinich. Wake up. When people are being massacre by its own president, that is serious. The republixcan are criticizing Obama from being too slow and here you are dancing with your maestro on impeachable offense. Where have you been?

    March 21, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Michael

    First of all no one has declared war. Secondly look who's looking for another 15 minutes of fame.

    March 21, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. obama victim

    D K is the darling of the left...it should be very entertaining to hear the Obamabots rip one of their own.....1 2 3 GO!!!

    March 21, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. John in Brooklyn

    I like Rep. Kucinich but, let's face it, there hasn't been a formal Congressional declaration of war since WWII. I hope he also would clarify that we should have impeached Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes!

    March 21, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. charles bowen

    Obama Does'nt need approval from you morons we put in congress and we do'nt have time to wait for you Bought By Big Busness Represenatives to do something . You clowns could'nt make a decission fast enough to save your worthless butt. Where in article 1 section 8 does it say you cant establish a no fly zone or Retaliate for the deaths of all those Americans who died on flight 103 in Lockerbie . You in congress should be ordering the Death Of Gadhafi for ordering this bombing. Sit Down And Shut up and let our forces do their work. Nothing Personal or political im a democrat. Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    March 21, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Joe Rioux

    Mr. Kucinich:
    I refer to the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548). Congress was notified within 48 hours of commencement of the operations, wasn't it?

    March 21, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Jim

    Well, well. Then how about Bush & Cheney regarding Iraq. Didn't hear you pipe up then, Denny ol' chap.

    March 21, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. J-NW

    Dennis Kucinich, watch "The Life of Brian".. sometimes when time is of the essence, for a limited intervention (i.e. not sending in ground troops to 'take over' a country), having Congress debate and debate and grandstand (as you are now).. saving people from being masacred would no longer be an option. This is a U.N. mission, not a unilaterial oil resource grab. To use the word impeachable is irresponsible. Kucinich is the new Ralph Nadar – full of good intentions, but a facillitaor for the heartless rightwing.

    March 21, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. Sam

    President Obama did not declare war, Mr. Kucinich. The Constitution was not side-stepped.

    March 21, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. IZZY

    Does anyone listen to this little troll?

    March 21, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Ryche

    Ohhhhhh.. thats gotta hurt... 1 of MANY MANY reasons this president should be shown the door... this isn't his only impeachable offense... there are many others...

    March 21, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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