House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-MI 14, is the gatekeeper for starting impeachment hearings. He has in the past strongly supported impeachment, but in the 110th Congress, he has followed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's policy of keeping impeachment “off the table.” At the same time, he has hinted that he will go against the policy if the public “makes him.”
Karl Rove has refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee in response to a subpoena.
May 15, 2008
Just off the House floor today, the Crypt overheard House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers tell two other people: “We’re closing in on Rove. Someone’s got to kick his ass.”
Asked a few minutes later for a more official explanation, Conyers told us that Rove has a week to appear before his committee. If he doesn’t, said Conyers, “We’ll do what any self-respecting committee would do. We’d hold him in contempt. Either that or go and have him arrested.”
Restore Rule of LawEdit
Restore Rule of Law has published a letter to John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee urging him to begin impeachment hearings. The prominent signers are urging you to sign it also. John Nichols has written a blog post, "Cheney, Torture and the Chance to Restore the Rule of Law" (also published on The Nation magazine's Web site) about the campaign.
Attorney-General Michael Mukasey has refused, in a hearing before Conyers's Committee
- to investigate allegations of torture
- to investigate warrantless wiretapping
- to present contempt citations against former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten to a grand jury, despite a statutory obligation to do so.
Since then, Conyers has been getting more phone calls than his staff can keep track of, they say. Keep it up. Blog it, post it, put it in your e-mail signature. Join the Grassroots campaign, too, to help counter Republican "blowback", and tell John you are doing it.
Conyers has invited several participants in the National Security Council Principals Committee meetings on torture to testify at House Judiciary Committee hearings. Among those invited are former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former CIA Director George Tenet, former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, Chief of Staff to the Vice President David Addington, and former Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin, who headed up the Office of Legal Counsel for a brief time.
Code Pink meetingEdit
April 3, 2008 meeting with Conyers.
Chairman Conyers argued that there would be blowback in the form of a McCain victory. Our gang replied that the comparison to Clinton was bogus, that the comparison that's more apt is to Nixon and all the other impeachments, and that Congress' unpopularity is the result of their inaction. Conyers also claimed impeachment would take too long and would be slow because of White House stonewalling, which is of course nonsense - when Nixon refused a subpoena the HJC passed an article of impeachment against him for it.
Ellen gave them the argument that impeachment hearings would force McCain to defend Bush and Cheney's offenses, and Conyers and Ted Kalo both liked that idea. So, we should bring in people who can speak to that point (Rep. Robert Wexler comes to mind!).
Everyone came out of this meeting agreed that for Conyers it all comes down to electoral politics, and the only argument that seemed to gain ground was the one regarding putting McCain on the defensive through Cheney impeachment hearings.
Rep. Conyers: Impeachment Is Not Off the Table Posted by Matt Stoller, Open Left at 6:35 AM on January 29, 2008.
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