Bush and Cheney are going down the Nixon slide.
Bush has decided not to comply with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees' subpoenas for documents dealing with the firing of the U.S. attorneys.
And he's likely to do the same over subpoenas on Cheney's and Gonzales's role in the NSA spying scandal.
Bush invoked "executive privilege."
That's got a vague ring to it, doesn't it?
Patrick Leahy, head of the Senate Judiciary, called it "Nixonian stonewalling," and said, "Increasingly, the President and the Vice President feel they are above the law."
John Conyers, head of the House Judiciary Committee, added: "This is reckless. It's a form of governmental lawlessness that is really astounding."
Conyers should know.
He sat on the Judiciary Committee when it voted to impeach Richard Nixon in 1974.
And let's remember, one of the three articles that Nixon was impeached on concerned just this kind of stonewalling.
Article Three says: Richard M. Nixon "failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives . . . and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. . . . In refusing to produce these papers and things, Richard M. Nixon Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government."
You can cut and paste Bush and Cheney's names and put them right in there.
It is incumbent upon John Conyers now to begin impeachment hearings on Bush and Cheney.
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Not only for disobeying these subpoenas.
But also for the following:
Lying the country into war.
Waging an aggressive war that violated the U.N. Charter. (Article VI of the Constitution says treaties are the "supreme law of the land.")
Violating the Geneva Conventions, the Treaty Against Torture, the Eighth Amendment, and the War Crimes statute by countenancing torture and other cruel and degrading treatment of detainees.
Violating the Geneva Conventions by disappearing detainees.
Violating the U.S. Constitution by holding U.S. citizens as enemy combatants in solitary confinement and depriving them of access to the courts for years.
Violating the U.S. Constitution by depriving detainees in Guantanamo of their due process rights.
Violating the First and Fourth Amendment and the FISA Act by ordering the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens in the United States without a warrant.
Corrupting the legal and political process by ordering U.S. Attorneys to bring specious charges against officials or candidates so as to distort the outcome of elections.
Conyers surely knows that impeachment is the only constitutional remedy for wanton lawlessness on the part of the President and the Vice President.
He shouldn't let Nancy Pelosi gag him any longer.
Impeachment must be put back on the table.
Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine.
© 2007 The Progressive