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Congressman, law scholar urge House to consider impeachment inquiry at hearing

RAW STORY
Published: January 20, 2006

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Calls urging an impeachment inquiry into President Bush's domestic surveillance program were heard during an unofficial House Judiciary Committee hearing held by Democrats on Friday, RAW STORY has learned.

An article written by Stewart M. Powell, White House correspondent for Hearst Newspapers, reports that Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and law professor Jonathan Turley both argued strenuously that the President's alleged crimes and misdemeanors may be impeachable offenses.

Rep. Nadler said that the legal justifications offered, so far, by the Bush Administration are "not even debatable. They're frivolous arguments; they're arguments that could only be made by a monarch -- by someone who's trying to justify absolute power in the executive branch."

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"This type of violation should be a textbook example of the impeachment issue because not only is it a federal crime but it violates the doctrine of separation of powers," Turley said at the hearing.

Congressman Conyers' opening statement at the hearing can be read at this link.

Excerpts from the article by Powell:

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A Democratic congressman, a prominent legal scholar and a self-described target of government surveillance urged Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee Friday to consider impeaching President Bush for his domestic surveillance program.

....

Nadler, a lawyer and senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee's panel on the Constitution, called for the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee to explore whether Bush should face impeachment for alleged high crimes and misdemeanors stemming from his decision to authorize domestic surveillance without the court review required by a 1978 federal law.

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Turley, a law professor at George Washington University since 1990 who has served as a defense lawyer in espionage cases, said Bush "committed a crime" by ordering domestic eavesdropping on telephone calls and e-mails inside the United States without the court approval required by federal law. Violations carry up to five years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Turley said that Bush committed a potentially impeachable offense by claiming inherent powers under the Constitution to violate a law approved by Congress.

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