Congressional hearing to examine 'Bush Imperial Presidency'
Update: Kucinich to testify
In a release Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) announced he will hold a hearing July 25 examining "the imperial presidency of George W. Bush and possible legal responses."
The word "impeachment" was not mentioned in the announcement, but it appears the hearing is going to examine issues raised by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in his resolution to impeach Bush. A Judiciary Committee spokesman tells RAW STORY Kucinich will testify at the hearing.
“Over the last seven plus years, there have been numerous credible allegations of serious misconduct by officials in the Bush Administration,” Conyers said in a news release. “At the same time, the administration has adopted what many would describe as a radical view of its own powers and authorities. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I believe it is imperative that we pursue a comprehensive review commensurate to this constitutionally dangerous combination of circumstances. Next Friday’s hearings will be an important part of that ongoing effort.”
Conyers did not say who would testify at the hearing, but he laid out a variety of abuses that would be examined, including:
(1) improper politicization of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys offices, including potential misuse of authority with regard to election and voting controversies;
(2) misuse of executive branch authority and the adoption and implementation of the so-called unitary executive theory, including in the areas of presidential signing statements and regulatory authority;
(3) misuse of investigatory and detention authority with regard to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, including questions regarding the legality of the administration’s surveillance, detention, interrogation, and rendition programs;
(4) manipulation of intelligence and misuse of war powers, including possible misrepresentations to Congress related thereto;
(5) improper retaliation against administration critics, including disclosing information concerning CIA operative Valerie Plame, and obstruction of justice related thereto; and
(6) misuse of authority in denying Congress and the American people the ability to oversee and scrutinize conduct within the administration, including through the use of various asserted privileges and immunities.
After the committee ignored Kucinich's first impeachment attempt last month, the former Democratic presidential candidate re-introduced a single article on Tuesday. In response, Conyers promised a hearing that would accumulate "all the things that constitute an imperial presidency."
However, Conyers indicated his unwillingness to actually vote on impeachment, regardless of Kucinich's presentation.
While no one has really asked lately, the White House has previously brushed off questions about impeachment in the past.
"I'm not going to comment on something as ridiculous as that," Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said last year when asked about impeachment.
Kucinich has been relentless in his push to impeach Bush. On Tuesday, the House formally sent his latest impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee. Its title: "Deceiving Congress with Fabricated Threats of Iraq WMDs to Fraudulently Obtain Support for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Iraq."
He also suggested in an interview with Congressional Quarterly that the Judiciary hearing could serve as a forum for some new revelations.
“I’ve been contacted by representatives of a U.S. ally who are seeking an opportunity to appear before the Judiciary Committee,” he told CQ's Molly K. Hooper.
“Legislative leaders of a foreign capital” have a “new angle that I haven’t thought of before but is relevant,” he said. “This interest in whether we’ve been told the truth has extended to other countries.”