Last night, I took to the floor of the House of Representatives (Ed., transcript appended) and outlined our case as to why this Congress must hold immediate hearings on Rep. Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment.
I didn’t do it alone: I was armed with nearly 200,000 signatures of support from you and so many others. Please watch the video (below) of this speech and forward it to as many people as possible. I’ve posted it on the front page of www.WexlerWantsHearings.com
This morning, I delivered letters to all of my colleagues in the House of Representatives, urging them to support Cheney Impeachment Hearings. You can read a copy of both the letter to my colleagues as well as the letter to Chairman Conyers I am asking them to sign at:
Additionally, I have delivered to my colleagues in the Judiciary Committee a list of names who have signed up at www.WexlerWantsHearings.com. We now have almost 200,000 patriotic Americans dedicated to this cause.
We are beginning to make some progress. I have urged the Democratic Leadership to enforce the subpoenas being ignored by Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten by holding them in contempt of Congress.
This fight is not over. You must continue the pressure on your representatives and the media, or Congress will take no notice. That would be a historic mistake — one we must prevent Congress from making.
We stand at a critical juncture in our efforts. Forget all of those arguments that it is too late or that we have run out of time. You can’t run the clock out on our Constitution. Those of us dedicated to this fight — Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the online community, and millions of patriotic Americans — will keep the pressure on.
I will be furiously lobbying my fellow members of Congress to get behind these efforts and sign onto my letter to Chairman Conyers.
Please continue to spread the word and help deliver accountability to the corrupt Bush-Cheney administration.
With great respect,
Congressman Robert Wexler
BEGIN IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS ON RESOLUTION OF IMPEACHMENT OF VICE PRESIDENT — (House of Representatives – January 15, 2008)
— The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Wexler) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. WEXLER. Madam Speaker, on November 7, 2007, this House voted to refer Congressman Kucinich’s resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the House Judiciary Committee. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I now ask that we immediately begin impeachment hearings.
The issues at hand are far too serious to ignore. Dick Cheney faces credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.
Did the Vice President manipulate intelligence to push this Nation into war based on false pretense?
Did the Vice President unmask a covert CIA agent for political purposes?
Did the Vice President order the illegal surveillance of Americans and the illegal use of torture?
These questions must be answered.
Just recently, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan revealed that the Vice President and his staff purposely gave him false information to report to the American people, a clear obstruction of justice.
This administration has undermined the checks and balances of our government by brazenly ignoring congressional subpoenas and recklessly claiming executive privilege. Impeachment hearings are the only way to force the Bush administration to answer questions and tell the truth.
Congress must take the first step by enforcing the subpoenas against Harriet Miers and the President’s Chief of Staff and hold them in contempt of Congress. In this time, at this moment, Congress must stand for the truth. If we fail to act, history may well judge us complicit in the alleged crimes of Vice President Cheney.
Madam Speaker, a growing chorus of Americans are calling for accountability. The response from Congress thus far has been silence and denial.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Florida is reminded to refrain from personal references toward the Vice President.
Mr. WEXLER. Madam Speaker, not long ago I launched a Web site in support of my call for hearings. The people responded en masse. After only 4 weeks, over 189,000 Americans have registered their support for hearings, names I now hold in my hand. These frustrated and patriotic Americans come from all 50 States and share one common goal: accountability for the Bush-Cheney administration and a rebirth of Congress as an equal branch of government.
So many have been working on this cause before me. Groups like Democrats.com, AfterDowningStreet.org, CodePink, ImpeachBush.org, Impeach for Peace and others. All told, there have been well over 1 million signatures urging us to take action.
Tomorrow, I will deliver these names to my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee with a letter to my friend Chairman Conyers calling for hearings. I will ask my colleagues to sign this letter. In addition, tomorrow, and continuing every day for months, I will publish in the Congressional Record several thousand names of supporters who have signed up.
History demands that we take action, because the case against Vice President Cheney is far stronger than the illegalities surrounding Watergate. When compared to the partisan and petty allegations made against President Clinton by Ken Starr and the GOP Congress, the true gravity of the case against the Vice President appears in its devastating clarity. In fact, in the history of our Nation, we have never encountered a moment where the actions of a President or a Vice President have more strongly demanded the use of the power of impeachment .
I have heard the arguments that it is too late, that we have run out of time, and that we don’t have the votes. While today there may not be enough votes to impeach , it is premature to think that such support would not exist after hearings. Let us remember that it wasn’t until after hearings began that the Watergate tapes emerged. Who knows what facts will comfort when the full truth is told in this case?
Arguing that it is too late signals to future administrations that in the waning months in office they are immune from constitutional accountability. Hold hearings which will put the evidence on the table, and the evidence alone must determine the outcome.