Cheney's 11: Impeachment Movement Gains a New Congressman

This post, written by Michael Roston, originally appeared on Raw Story

A Democratic Congressman from Washington state became the latest Member of Congress to add his voice to the calls for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. The move came the same night that House Democrats failed to unite their party around a measure to cut the funding for the Office of the Vice President in response to Cheney's declaration that his office was not a part of the executive branch.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) declared in an address on the House floor Thursday night that he was in favor of impeaching the vice president.

"It is time for a new exit strategy, one that removes the Vice President of the United States from office, voluntarily, if he chooses, but by impeachment if he stonewalls," said the Seattle Democrat and Progressive Caucus member. "I have struggled mightily with this matter for a long time...Since the President permits the flagrant disregard of the Constitution, it is up to the Congress to act and defend the American people. With each new revelation, America has seen only glints of what has been done totally in secret."

McDermott said that he was adding his name to H.Res. 333, the Articles of Impeachment introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and already supported by nine additional Congress members. But he also made it clear that he was concerned with crimes beyond those called out in the Ohio Democrat's legislation.

"The Vice President holds himself accountable to no one," Rep. McDermott argued. "He ordered the Secret Service to destroy visitors logs, and we have learned in the Washington Post recently, that the Vice President circumvented every check and balance inside the White House to force through his own agenda, to spy on Americans through illegal wire traps, creating the gulag at Guantanamo, and subverting civil liberties and free speech at every turn."

Note: Text and video of McDermott's speech are available at the Congressman's website.

In a conference call on Thursday afternoon, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made it clear that the decisions of Democrats like McDermott were not enough to change her mind on impeachment, which she continued to insist was off the table.

"It's a choice that has to be made," she said. "I made a decision...one year ago that impeachment was something we could not be successful with, and that would take up the time we needed to do some positive things to establish a record of our priorities and their shortcomings. The president isn't worth impeaching. If it were the beginning of his term, people might think of it differently, but he's at the end of his term...the last two years of his term, we just want to be rid of him."

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