Impeaching Gonzales What The Founders Intended

As always, I speak for me only.

Adam Cohen gets it right:

. . . Members of Congress should keep in mind, however, that the founders gave them the impeachment power for a reason — and Mr. Gonzales’s malfeasance is just the sort they were worried about.

The Constitution provides for impeachment for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Not a clear formula, but it wasn’t meant to be. Impeachment, Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 65, cannot be “tied down” by “strict rules, either in the delineation of the offense” by the House, or “in the construction of it” by the Senate.

. . . Impeachment of Mr. Gonzales would fit comfortably into the founders’ framework. No one could charge this Congress with believing that executive branch members serve at the “pleasure of the Senate” or the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that impeachment of President Bush is “off the table,” and there has been little talk of impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney or others in the administration . . . MORE

Congress has heard extensive testimony about how Mr. Gonzales’s Justice Department has become an arm of a political party, choosing lawyers for nonpartisan positions based on politics, and bringing cases — including prosecutions that have put people in jail — to help Republicans win elections.

Mr. Gonzales’s repeated false and misleading statements to Congress are also impeachable conduct. James Iredell, whom George Washington would later appoint to the Supreme Court, told North Carolina’s ratification convention that “giving false information to the Senate” was the sort of act “of great injury to the community” that warranted impeachment.

The United States attorneys scandal is also the sort of abuse the founders worried about. Top prosecutors, most with sterling records, were apparently fired because they refused to let partisan politics guide their decisions about whether to prosecute. Madison, the father of the Constitution, noted in a speech to the first Congress that “wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject” an official to impeachment. . . .

IF Bush does not make Gonzo go, the Congress must.

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    Our feeble Democrats (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Alien Abductee on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 01:50:58 PM EST
    Gonzales lies to their faces, tries to circumvent the law in every way possible, and corrupts and politicizes the DOJ. So which should Congress do, impeach him or give him vast new powers to spy on Americans without any meaningful oversight? Hmmm, really really tough call....

    let's have concern also (none / 0) (#2)
    by Sumner on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:19:12 PM EST
    about those Machiavellian purposes that spying gets used for

    OR-SEN: Jeff Merkley calls for impeaching Gonzales (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by karichisholm on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 06:24:26 PM EST
    I know this is hard to believe, but until today, not a single U.S. Senator or Senate candidate had called for impeaching Alberto Gonzales.

    Today, Jeff Merkley did just that.

    Under Gonzalez' embarassing stewardship, they've fired U.S. Attorneys for political reasons. He's authorized illegal wiretaps of American citizens. He even tried to strong-arm then-Attorney General John Ashcroft into authorizing the illegal wiretapping program while he lay gravely ill in a hospital bed. And now he won't tell Congress the whole truth about what's happening on his watch.

    It's time for Alberto Gonzales to be fired.

    If the President won't fire him, then the Congress should impeach him.

    Jeff's a strong candidate.  He's the Oregon Speaker of the House, and the guy who led the Democrats back from 16 years in the minority in 2006.

    A little full disclosure: I built JeffMerkley.com, but I speak only for myself.

    I endorse your position (none / 0) (#3)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:26:09 PM EST
    and  you may speak for me on this issue.

    Given what the GOP defined as an impeachable offense, they have no complaint here.  

    Maybe if impeachment is not sought ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:55:22 PM EST
    ... then Ms. Pelosi can assuage our disappointment by further raising of the minimum wage, grants to public schools for them to buy more and better chalk, and guaranteed health insurance for volunteer English-as-a-second-language teachers.

    That's the path to Democratic political greatness, or at least the one Nancy Pelosi hopes leads to greatness, no? It leads to the mediocrity heap.

    Senator Dodd is apparently (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 03:53:29 PM EST
    Not only Gonzales (none / 0) (#7)
    by Saul on Wed Aug 22, 2007 at 07:35:53 AM EST
    Brue Fein says that we need to impeach Bush and his VP.  Even if the senate does find them guilty the very process is important to show future presidents and vice presidents that you will be held accountable.  I suggest that we hold off an major investigations until 09.  I am pretty sure we will have a Dem President and VP and a Dem  controlled House and Senate in 09.  I am not sure but it seems to me that executive privlege ends when you leave office.  We need to investigage Gonzales, Rowe, Meyers, Rice, Rumsfeld, Tenet and others to make sure they did not commit any crimes and to know the real truth about how we really got involved in Iraq.   If you do not investigate and hold any one accountable then this will happen again.  Helen Thomas had it right.  Bush will go down as the worst president ever. As well as the whole Bush administration