Thursday, July 24, 2008

Impeachment: Be There!



July 25 Judiciary Committee Hearing News

Good news direct from a Judiciary committee staffer:
  • They're getting lots of requests from the media for hearing room seats. Our media campaign* is working!
  • There will be TWO overflow rooms. This hearing is going to be HUGE.
*Pls. reply if you've received a confirmation from CSPAN that they will cover the hearing.

All Judiciary Committee members we've spoken with are planning to attend the hearing, a concern because it's being held on a Friday when Congress usually does nothing.

There will be a press conference following the hearing with the NIN, Veterans for Peace,, CODEPINK, Cindy Sheehan, and others.

There will be 12 witnesses. The names will be announced tomorrow; we'll try to send them right away.

We were not able to get reserved seats for the hearing from Conyers' office, so we'll have to get in line very early.

Not such good news that apparently the Committee will consider several options for dealing with the Administration's crimes: 1. pursue impeachment 2. refer to Justice Dept. wherein the AG will decide to a) work within Justice, or b) appoint a special prosecutor 3. censure 4. establish independent congressional advisor body to pursue legislative statutory fixes for abuses on signing statements, executive privilege, etc.
Of course, only options 1 and 2 are acceptable, and option 2 appears impractical given the AG's refusal to uphold the law and the amount of time it could take for a special prosecutor to gather evidence, etc.

To make sure he knows what we're asking, we're giving John Conyers a letter tomorrow thanking him in advance for moving impeachment forward and stating some specific outcomes we want from Friday's hearing. We've gotten expert advice from Phil Burk on what to ask for to make sure that everything is procedurally correct. Phil wrote a succinct and gorgeous letter for our use (also attached). We so appreciate this Phil.

Dear Chairman Conyers,

Congress has the power to impeach. But impeachment is not for the benefit of Congress. It is for the benefit of the American people.

We the people want to believe that our government is based on the rule of law. Only impeachment can restore that belief.

We need to know that our government is telling us the truth about important issues such as war. Only impeachment will demonstrate to future presidents that we will not tolerate being misled.

We want to believe our government is there to serve us and not the interests of political parties. Only impeachment for the politicization of the Department of Justice will restore our faith.

Please give us something so that we know Democracy is not dead. Please move forward with at least ONE of the following actions:

1) Ask the staff to draft an article of impeachment related to the refusal of the Bush administration to comply with Congressional subpoenas thus interfering with Congresses oversight role.

2) If you need a stronger charge than #1 then schedule an impeachment hearing with subpoenaed witnesses. If Bush and Cheney instruct witnesses not to testify then they can be impeached for interfering with Congress's sole power of impeachment. An advantage of this approach is that there is no need to prove that Bush did not comply. So the trial in the Senate can be brief.

3) Instruct the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (chaired by Jerrold Nadler) to mark up H. Res. 1258 and to prepare it for presentation in some form to the House as articles of impeachment.

4) If Bush is perceived as too strong politically (he does have a higher approval rating than Congress) then just impeach Cheney first.

We realize that time is short. But Andrew Johnson was impeached in ten days. So there is still time. The most important thing is knowing that Congress still cares enough about the Constitution to start the impeachment process even if we run out the clock in January. Please give us a sign that the President's power over us is not absolute.

With sincere gratitude for your courage and patriotism,

NIN Lobbying

Weds, July 23:

Kenneth Ashe, Kim Carlyle, Susan Serpa, Cynthia Papermaster had meetings with aides for Robert Wexler, Tammy Baldwin, Dennis Kucinich, James Sensenbrenner, Nancy Pelosi, Melvin Watt, William Delahunt and Judiciary Committee staff. Sincere thanks to Ken and Kim, who are Veterans for Peace from North Carolina. Ken made beautiful, poignant speeches in support of impeachment. Kim is an superb lobbyist and negotiator.

Thursday, July 24: "Impeachment Lobbying Day"

NIN, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, CODEPINK, others will roam the halls of Congress and meet with as many Representatives as possible to tell them the country wants impeachment. We'll ask Judiciary Committee members to attend the July 25 hearing, to set a date to conduct impeachment hearings, and to refer articles of impeachment to the House for a vote.

Impeachment Slogan Contest Winners Announced Tomorrow

The judges will announce the winners of the slogan contest tomorrow. Last-minute entries will be accepted up until 3 pm Pacific/ 6 pm Eastern time 7/24. Again, the challenge is to come up with a slogan that describes or frames the impeachment movement as positively irresistible for those who find the word "impeachment" scary or harsh. Good suggestions we've received are "Choose Democracy" and "Everyone Wins". Send your slogans to Prizes: all 3 runners up, second and first place winners get a copy of Vincent Bugliosi's book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. In addition, first place wins a homemade fresh MMMM-peach pie shipped overnight anywhere, and everyone wins impeachment of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush

PDA Re-Joins The Impeachment Fight !!! Hallelujah!

Next up: moving MoveOn over to support impeachment

If you haven't seen this blast from PDA read it and rejoice. There is even a button to "forward to a friend." Thank you PDA. It's good to be working with you. Note that our own William Crain is on the PDA Impeachment Team listed at the bottom of the blast. You go William! Also note the "p.s." invitation to join the PDA Impeachment Google Group.

From: PDA's Impeachment Team <>

Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 8:10:03 PM
Subject: Impeachment: Turn Up The Heat

Forward this newsletter to a friend

Join Us Online and in D.C. Taking Action for Accountability!

Dear Cynthia,

Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently reversed herself, saying, "This is a Judiciary Committee matter, and I believe we will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee. Not necessarily taking up the articles of impeachment because that would have to be approved on the floor, but to have some hearings on the subject. My expectation is that there will be some review of that in the committee."

This Week, the Judiciary Committee is Holding "some review."

The Judiciary Committee will meet this Friday July 25 for panels and with hope and your help, they will approve impeachment hearings.

Join PDA calling upon the Judiciary Committee to conduct hearings on Rep. Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment (H Res 1258) and then refer the Articles to the House for a vote.

Join PDA on Capitol Hill, Friday, July 25th:

PDA is participating in a "Choose the Constitution" Press Conference and Rally at the Rayburn House Office Building, Independence Avenue at 9 AM. Closest Metro Stop: Capitol South on the Blue/Orange lines. Then we'll attend the Hearing on the Imperial Presidency of George W. Bush, House Judiciary Committee Hearing Room (2141 Rayburn) capacity permitting.

We can house thirty PDAers at our activist house in Mt. Rainier. Bring sleeping bags, pillows, air mattresses, and grab a floor. Contact: For other accommodations

Take Action to Support Accountability:

FAX all members of the House Judiciary Committee

If your House member is on the Judiciary Committee, contact him or her. Mention you're a constituent, and his or her leadership or failure to act on this issue will determine your action at the polls on November 4th.

Then focus on the non-sponsors. Explain that you expect them to uphold their oath to protect and defend the Constitution by cosponsoring and voting for public hearings on H Res 1258 in the Judiciary Committee--and referral to the full House.

Representatives Wexler and Baldwin remain the only members of the Judiciary Committee who have co-sponsored H Res 1258. Thank them for their leadership, and urge them to support public hearings, and action in the full House.

If you don't have access to a FAX machine, call the Judiciary Committee members through the Capitol Hill switchboard: (202) 224-2131. Ask them to defend the Constitution by demanding public hearings on impeachment followed by action in the House.

FAX numbers for Democratic Judiciary Committee Members who are not yet H Res 1258 Cosponsors. (Area code is always 202):

John Conyers 225-0072
Howard Berman 225-3196 Maxine Waters 225-7854
Rick Boucher 225-0442 Jerrold Nadler 225-6923
Bobby Scott 225-8354 Melvin Watt 225-1512
Sheila Jackson Lee 225-9817 Zoe Lofgren 225-3336
William Delahunt 225-5658 Linda Sanchez 226-1012
Hank Johnson 226-0691 Luis Gutierrez 225-7810
Brad Sherman 225-5879 Anthony Weiner 226-7253
Adam Schiff 225-5828 Artur Davis 226-9567
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz 226-2052 Keith Ellison 225-4886
Betty Sutton 225-2266 Steve Cohen 225-5663

FAX numbers for Republican Judiciary Committee Members--none are cosponsors. (Area code is always 202):

Lamar Smith 225-8628
Ranking Member
James Sensenbrenner 225-3190 Jim Jordan 226-0577
Howard Coble 225-8611 Elton Gallegly 225-1100
Bob Goodlatte 225-9681 Steve Chabot 225-3012
Dan Lungren 226-1298 Chris Cannon 225-5629
Ric Keller 225-0999 Darrell Issa 225-3303
Mike Pence 225-3382 Randy Forbes 226-1170
Steve King 225-3193 Tom Feeney 226-6299
Trent Franks 225-6328 Louis Gohmert 225-5866
Here are our heroes, the Members of Congress currently cosponsoring impeachment--all are Democrats: Sponsor Dennis Kucinich 225-5745, Robert Wexler* 225-5974, Lynn Woolsey 225-5163, Barbara Lee 225-9817, Maurice Hinchey 226-0774, Tammy Baldwin* 225-6942, and Sam Farr 225-6791 (*member of Judiciary Committee). If your Representative isn't on this list, call (202) 224-2131 and ask him or her to cosponsor H Res 1258.

Read the articles of impeachment here:

Yours for Peace and Accountability,

Mike Hersh and Tim Carpenter; Joanne O'Neill and William Crain
PDA National Staff; PDA Impeachment Team

P.S. Join PDA's Impeachment Google Group and Shop PDAstore for Impeachment Items.

Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.

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