Kucinich gets his day
Since June 9, 2008, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has pushed for impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Last week, in an effort to placate Kucinich, the House Judiciary Committee finally agreed to hold a hearing July 25, 2008. The night before the hearing, Kucinich sat down with ANP in an exclusive one-on-one interview.
KUCINICH: —and for the American people.
REPORTER: Just to clarify, where do you think this should go now? What are you going to urge the chairman to do?
TEXT ON SCREEN: Since June 9, 2008, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has pushed for impeachment. Last week, in an effort to placate Kucinich, the House Judiciary Committee finally agreed to hold a hearing July 25, 2008. The night before the hearing, Kucinich sat down with ANP in an exclusive one-on-one interview.
Kucinich Gets His Day
By Davin Hutchins & Ted Roach
INTERVIEWER: Thank you for joining us, Mr. Kucinich, today. Very open question beginning here. Just briefly, if you can, outline your case against President Bush.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH): When a chief executive who is the commander-in-chief commits the lives of young men and women to combat and there are misrepresentations involved, there can’t be a graver offense. When you think about this, there should be an outcry for justice because of the human toll that this war has taken. If a president can effectively get away with what this president has done, then it seems there wouldn’t be any offense that would be impeachable. Then it would be as if you took the whole concept of impeachment and tore it out of the Constitution, because it would have no meaning there. This is a question of whether or not our Constitution has an enduring value with respect to the coequality of Congress, a Congress and its constitutionally mandated function of a check and balance on administrative abuse of power. I’m going to put the Constitution on the table and say, what do we stand for? Is this all politics? Is everything reduced to some base exchange between political contestants and the ends justify the means? We have seen in the last few weeks an escalation of the rhetoric with respect to Iran. We’ve also seen that the Congress is planning on adjourning in mid-September. If Congress were to adjourn in mid-September, that essentially opens up a window between mid-September and the inauguration for this president to be able to once again strike at a country with impunity. And that’s why this is so urgent, that we begin this process of examining what this president is doing and has done. You know, speakers made it very clear: tomorrow is not a hearing on the impeachment resolution. I’ve made it equally clear that I’m going to be presenting a case in the five minutes I’m allowed that suggests that the Congress should begin to look at these disparities between what we were told to take us into war and what the facts were.
INTERVIEWER: You’re allotted five minutes?
KUCINICH: Right. I’m just hopeful that the committee will listen and that the leadership will reconsider based on hearing from the American people. This isn’t about me. I mean, I’m a messenger. I’m willing to take a stand. I just happen to be one member of Congress.
Friday, July 25, 2008
REP. JOHN CONYERS (D-MI), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: [inaudible] committee will come to order. Let’s proceed with [inaudible] concerns about the excesses and the exercises of the executive branch authority as has been produced in this present administration.
REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D-FL): Never before in the history of this nation has an administration so successfully diminished the constitutional powers of the legislative branch. It is unacceptable, and it must not stand.
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): I had the misfortune to be here during the investigation and impeachment of President Clinton, who at worst lied about an affair. It had to be one of the most demeaning and prurient circuses to which I have ever been subjected. In this case, we are involved with far more serious allegations.
REP. LAMAR SMITH (R-TX): Nothing is going to come out of this hearing with regard to impeachment of the president. I know it, the media knows it, and the speaker knows it.
REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): And let me direct my attention to my colleague on the left, today and in every respect, Mr. Kucinich from Ohio. I think the gentleman knows of my respect and affection for him. I appreciate his passion and his focus, and I do not begrudge him his efforts in pursuing this cause. I just believe the gentleman from Ohio is dead wrong on our history and on the facts and on the Constitution.
KUCINICH: Our country has been at war in Iraq and has occupied the streets and villages of Iraq for five years, four months, and six days. The primary justifications for going to war outlined in the legislation which the White House sent to Congress in October 2002 have been determined conclusively to be untrue. Many members of Congress relied on these representations from the White House to inform their decision to support the legislation that authorized the use of force against Iraq. The decision before us is whether to honor our oath as members of Congress to support and defend the Constitution that has been trampled time and again over the last seven years. The decision before us is whether Congress will stand up to tell future presidents that America has seen the last of these injustices, not the first. I believe the choice is clear. I ask this committee to think and then to act now in order to enable this Congress to right a very great wrong and to hold accountable those who misled this nation. I thank you.
KUCINICH: I think that we have to get to the truth. Now, whether that would lead to the removal of the president’s a whole, altogether different question. Our first responsibility is to find the truth. The American people have a right to know whether or not their government took them into a war based on a lie, especially when we’ve had over 4,000 troops dead, we’ve had over a million innocent Iraqis die, we’ve had over $3 trillion and the projected costs of this war. We must find out the truth, and then wherever the truth leads in a democracy can only be good for the democracy. Thank you very much.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Despite the collection of tens of thousands of signatures supporting impeachment of Bush, House Democrats have no plans to schedule formal impeachment hearings.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.