News Release

Impeachment: A Debate


The Wall Street Journal published a story Monday featuring a graphic which noted that 51 percent of respondents in a recent national poll said yes when asked: “If the president didn’t tell the truth about the reasons for the Iraq war, should Congress consider impeachment?” In 1998, in contrast, 27 percent said yes to the question: “If the president lied about having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky,
should he be impeached?” [Full story]

Shenkman is the editor of the History News Network, a presidential historian and author of the book Presidential Ambition: How the Presidents Gained Power, Kept Power and Got Things Done. He wrote today: “Mainstream Democrats are ignoring the impeachment drive. They should.

“The impeachers’ main point is that Bush is out of control and a threat to the Constitution. Says Bob Fertik, a backer of ImpeachPAC: ‘If we don’t hold a president accountable for lying to start a war, we might as well throw out the Constitution of the United States.’

“But of course presidents almost always lie about war. If lying were an impeachable offense then Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon and others should have been impeached. Maybe some of these presidents should have been impeached. But all of them? Yet by the lying standard all of them should have been.”
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Swanson is co-founder of the coalition of veterans and peace groups, which is urging Congress to pass H Res 635 to begin a formal investigation into grounds for impeachment or to introduce and pass Articles of Impeachment. He said today: “It’s true that past presidents have lied about wars too, but often that evidence has come out later.”

Added Swanson: “Here we have a case where overwhelming evidence has emerged that a war was launched on the basis of lies while [Bush] is still in office threatening to launch more wars. On top of which we have powerful evidence of spying without court approval, torture, imprisonment without charge or trial, leaking of classified information, manufacturing of phony news reports, retribution exacted against whistleblowers, criminal neglect prior to Hurricane Katrina and the attacks of 9-11, and a variety of war crimes, including targeting civilians, reporters, and hospitals, and using chemical weapons and depleted uranium.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167