Conyers: Impeachment off Pelosi's table, but not mine
Rep. John Conyers declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not stop him from beginning impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee against a 'long list of people'in the Bush administration, although he did not make a firm commitment to begin proceedings.
"Nancy Pelosi has impeachment 'off the table,' but that's off her table, it is not off John Conyers' table," the Michigan Democrat said during a town hall meeting in his district Tuesday. "Nancy Pelosi, who I actually supported, cannot prevent me from introducing an impeachment resolution against, well I've got a long list of people who are eligible."
Conyers did not announce plans to begin impeachment proceedings, which he has previously said would be politically untenable. Rather, his speech seemed to indicate that pro-impeachment activists did not yet convince him that Bush and Cheney deserved to be booted from office. A Conyers spokesman did not immediately respond to RAW STORY's request for clarification of the congressman's comments.
"I want you to know that I have no reticence, no reluctance, no hesitation to use the tool of impeachment ... whenever I feel that it is appropriate," Conyers said. "I only wish that I could be moved by a lot of people coming to my office."
One activist who helped organize hundreds of protesters who traveled to Washington to push Conyers to begin impeachment remains unconvinced that the congressman will actually take action.
"I think John Conyers ... is saying, 'I'm not going to do what my constituency wants, I'm going to do what the Democratic leadership wants,'" Tina M. Richards, CEO of Grassroots America, told RAW STORY Wednesday.
Although she acknowledged Conyers "adamantly wants to impeach," Richards said he is being precluded from doing so by Pelosi and other top House Democrats. Hundreds of impeachment activists are expected to descend on Pelosi's office next month to pressure the House Speaker to allow impeachment proceedings.
The 21-term congressman, who took control of the Judiciary Committee this year, boasted that he was the first to introduce a resolution calling for Richard Nixon's impeachment.
Conyers mentioned frequent visits by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who recently led hundreds of protesters to urge him to begin impeachment proceedings. He told the activists he would not begin impeachment hearings because there is not enough support among Democrats, who control the House, for the move.
"I understand the politics of impeachment," Conyers said. "But we have something going on now that we've never had before."
The following video was posted online Wednesday: