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Congressional Hopefuls Applaud Maine Congressman For Impeachment Call

PORTLAND - Two Democratic congressional candidates from southern Maine are applauding Rep. Mike Michaud for calling for impeachment hearings on Vice President Dick Cheney.

In a letter sent last month, Michaud, D-Maine, urged House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers to schedule impeachment hearings before the end of current congressional session. The letter cited "serious allegations" that the vice president played a role in mischaracterizing prewar intelligence, outing CIA agent Valerie Plame, and abusing detainees, among other issues.

Michaud's call is being echoed by state Sen. Ethan Strimling and York County District Attorney Mark Lawrence, both of whom are Democratic candidates for Congress.

"We need an investigation into the abuses of this administration, and there are many of them," Strimling said in a statement, "and impeachment hearings will provide an opportunity to get facts on the table."

Lawrence said in a press release: "If Congress does not act to hold our leaders accountable, their unprecedented expansion of executive power will become a dangerous precedent."

Both Strimling and Lawrence have previously stated their support for impeachment proceedings against the vice president.

They are among six Democratic candidates running to succeed Democratic Rep. Tom Allen, who is challenging [Republican] Sen. Susan Collins.

The other four Democratic candidates are Michael Brennan of Portland, Adam Cote of Portland, Steve Meister of Winthrop and Chellie Pingree of North Haven. The Republican candidates are Dean Scontras of Eliot and Charles Summers of Scarborough.

© 2008 Portland Press Herald

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