Kucinich announces impeachment charges against
Vice President Cheney
Articles of Impeachment against Cheney
in the Congress today.
Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles
CQ Transcripts Wire
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
REP. DENNIS J. KUCINICH, D-OHIO: Thank you very much for
We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are
created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with
certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights,
governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers
from the consent of the government; and, whenever any form of
government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of
the people to alter or to abolish it.
These words from the Declaration of Independence are instructive
at this moment. Because not only whenever any form of
government, but whenever any government official becomes
destructive of the founding purposes, that official or those
officials must be held accountable.
Because I believe the vice president's conduct of office has
been destructive to the founding purposes of our nation. Today,
I have introduced House Resolution 333, Articles of Impeachment
Relating to Vice President Richard B. Cheney. I do so in defense
of the rights of the American people to have a government that
is honest and peaceful.
It became obvious to me that this vice president, who was a
driving force for taking the United States into a war against
Iraq under false pretenses, is once again rattling the sabers of
war against Iran with the same intent to drive America into
another war, again based on false pretenses.
Let me cite from the articles of impeachment that were
introduced this afternoon, Article I, that Richard Cheney had
purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the
citizens and the Congress of the United States by fabricating a
threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use
of the United States armed forces against the nation of Iraq in
a manner damaging to our national security.
That despite all evidence to the contrary, the vice president
actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and
the Congress of the United States about an alleged threat of
Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
That preceding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the vice
president was fully informed that no legitimate evidence existed
of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The vice president
pressured the intelligence community to change their findings to
enable the deception of the citizens and the Congress of the
That in this the vice president subverted the national security
interests of the United States by setting the stage for the loss
of more than 3,300 United States service members and the loss of
650,000 Iraqi citizens since the United States invasion; the
loss of approximately $500 billion in war costs, which has
increased our federal debt; the loss of military readiness
within the United States armed services, through an
overextension and lack of training and lack of equipment; and
the loss of United States credibility in the world affairs and
decades of likely blowback created by the invasion of Iraq.
That with respect to Article II, that Richard Cheney manipulated
the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and the
Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship
between Iraq and Al Qaida in order to justify the use of United
States armed forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner
damaging to our national security.
And that, despite all evidence to the contrary, the vice
president actively and systematically sought to deceive the
citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged
relationship between Iraq and Al Qaida.
That preceding to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the vice
president was fully informed that no credible evidence existed
of a working relationship between Iraq and Al Qaida, a fact
articulated in several official documents.
With respect to Article III, that in his conduct while vice
president of the United States, Richard Cheney openly threatened
aggression against the Republic of Iran, absent any real threat
to the United States, and has done so with the United States's
proven capability to carry out such threats, thus undermining
the national security interests of the United States.
That despite no evidence that Iran has the intention or the
capability of attacking the United States, and despite the
turmoil created by the United States's invasion of Iraq, the
vice president has openly threatened aggression against Iran.
Furthermore, I point out in the articles that Article VI of the
United States Constitution states, and I quote, "This
Constitution and the laws of the United States shall be made in
pursuance thereof and all treaties made or which shall be made
under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme
law of the land. Any provision of an international treaty
ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United
The United States is signatory to the U.N. Charter, a treaty
among the nations of the world. Article II, Section 4 of the
United Nations Charter states, and I quote, "All members shall
refrain in their international relations from the threat or use
of force against the territorial integrity or political
independence of any state, or in any manner inconsistent with
the purposes of the United Nations."
The articles conclude by pointing out that the vice president's
deception upon the citizens and the Congress of the United
States that enabled the failed United States invasion of Iraq
forcibly altered the rules of diplomacy so that the vice
president recent belligerent actions toward Iran are
destabilizing and counterproductive to the national security of
the United States of America.
These articles of impeachment are not brought forth lightly.
I've carefully weighed the options available to members of
Congress and found this path the path that is the most important
The justifications used to lead our nation to war have
unquestionably been disproved. Brave soldiers and innocent
civilians have lost their lives in a war the United States
should never have initiated. The weight of the lies used to lead
us into war has grown heavier with each death. Now is the time
for Congress to examine the actions that led us into this war,
just as we must work to bring the troops home. This resolution
is a very serious matter, and I will urge the Committee on
Judiciary to investigate and carefully consider this resolution.
At this time, I'm happy to take any of your questions.
QUESTION: Congressman, at this point do you have any other --
any fellow members support this?
KUCINICH: At this very moment, the resolution is being
transmitted to members of Congress. Because this resolution is
so weighty in its import, it's going to be important for members
of Congress to have sufficient time to study the articles. This
is unlike any other type of legislation or resolution. This is
not something that you can ask anyone to make a snap judgment
on. It took me a while to come to this point. And I would expect
that members of Congress, given the opportunity to review these
articles, will be able to come to a conclusion consistent with
their own concerns and the concerns of their constituents.
QUESTION: But at this point, you stand alone, at this point?
KUCINICH: At this point, I believe that I stand with millions of
Americans who have expressed concern through their state
legislatures, through petitions to Congress, through contact
with their members of Congress, that something has to be done to
reclaim our country's goodness, to reclaim a government which
the American people want to be honest, want to be just.
And so I do not stand alone. I have multitudes of people backing
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Chairman Conyers to look at this?
KUCINICH: I will discuss this with Chairman Conyers, now that
this has been introduced, and I will ask for his consideration.
And I will communicate this to all members of the House and ask
them to give it the kind of thoughtful consideration that it
KUCINICH: I might point out that -- that when you read the
annotations here, you will see that everything that has been
said in these articles has been carefully documented. In fact, I
would imagine that some of you have even reported some of the
statements, although perhaps the statements have not been
challenged in this way until now.
KUCINICH: The question relates to why I'm bringing the articles
of impeachment against Mr. Cheney, and not Mr. Bush. Is that it?
QUESTION: Why solely Mr. Cheney?
KUCINICH: Well, there's a practical reason here. And the
practical reason is -- first of all, I want to say that each and
every charge against Mr. Cheney relates to his conduct or
misconduct in office.
Now, with respect to the president. I think that it's very
important that we start with Mr. Cheney. Because if we were to
start with the president and pursue articles of impeachment, Mr.
Cheney would then become president.
It's significant and responsible to start in this way, because
if the same charges would relate to the president as relate to
the vice president, you would then have to go through the
constitutional agony of impeaching two presidents consecutively.
KUCINICH: Well, actually -- I'll wait until that truck goes by
Let me tell you the difference. The difference today is that
this vice president is actively encouraging aggression against
Iran. It is urgent that Congress take steps to check the abuse
of power. And that's what this impeachment resolution will do.
KUCINICH: There is no comparison whatsoever -- in any way, shape
or manner -- between these articles of impeachment and the
articles of impeachment which were presented to the House of
Representatives in 1999.
In fact, these articles of impeachment are deeply researched,
will stand up in a discussion in the House and in the Senate.
And I believe that they are -- that they're imperative to bring
forth right now because the threat of war against Iran is very
And this vice president cannot be permitted to continue to
violate both the U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Charter.
QUESTION: Congressman, you're running for president. Are you
hoping to get the others (OFF-MIKE)?
KUCINICH: Each person has to -- each person will have to make
his or her own decision.
This goes beyond partisan terms. This is being done to defend
our constitutional system of government. This is being done so
that all those of us who took an oath to defend the Constitution
of the United States can understand that this impeachment is one
valid way in furtherance of the defense of our Constitution.
I don't see this as being distant from anyone, in any capacity
in our government. Everyone must reflect on this.
Years from now, people will ask, "Why didn't the United States
government respond when they saw this threat to our democracy?
Why didn't people inside the government respond?" if this
doesn't move forward.
And so this really isn't so much, I might add, about the vice
president as it is about who we are as a people. What is it that
we stand for? What kind of government do the people of the
United States expect and deserve?
KUCINICH: It's not appropriate for the government to lie to
people. It is wrong for government officials -- you know, the
vice president, in this case -- to take this nation into war
based on lies.
And so, again, this becomes a question of who we are as a
people. And so this resolution 333, articles of impeachment
against the vice president, will let future generations know
that no one is above the law of this country and that Congresses
have the specific responsibility to provide a check to
administrative abuse of power. That's the way the framers set
this government up.
QUESTION: Congressman, Speaker Pelosi has said on more than one
occasion she's not interested in impeachment.
Have you had conversations with her on this, or some exchange,
in your mind...
KUCINICH: No, I have not discussed this with Speaker Pelosi.
I want to stress that this is not a partisan action at all. I
have not confided in anyone in the leadership of my party,
because I take this action beyond partisanship, beyond party, as
an obligation and commitment to my nation and my loyalty to
America and my willingness to say, "Stop the lies. Stop the
lying. Stop the dying that's occurring in Iraq over lies."
It's imperative that America stand for the truth. It said in the
Bible, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you
free." Well, let then these articles of impeachment help set our
nation free from the lies that have enveloped our governmental
process, the lies that are trapping us still in a war in Iraq,
the lies that could take us into a war against Iran.
This is about the truth.
QUESTION: Congressman, it's been said by some pundits that
you're just introducing these articles to gain publicity for
your presidential campaign.
What do you make of those allegations? And do you think this is
going to help you out in your race for the presidency?
KUCINICH: These articles are about the conduct of the vice
president of the United States, that he deceived the people of
the United States to take this country into a war, that he
continues to exhibit a pattern of conduct that could take this
country into another war based on false pretenses. That's what
this is about.
KUCINICH: And I believe that the people of this country are
demanding that someone stand up and anyone has been free to do
this. Anyone in the House of Representatives could take similar
action if they so choose, or could take action against the vice
president or the president.
QUESTION: Pelosi says it's not going anywhere.
KUCINICH: Have you talked to her today?
QUESTION: Yes, I did.
KUCINICH: Then I would say I have not talked to her. And as much
as I admire the speaker, as much as I voted to support her, I
feel that it's my obligation as a member of Congress to
introduce these articles of impeachment. And I believe the
American people will be the final arbiters as to whether or not
these articles should go forward.
QUESTION: Just to follow up, when you say the vice president led
us into war, wouldn't that be President Bush? Isn't Cheney
working for Bush? (inaudible)
KUCINICH: Well, let's go into Article I. "Mr. Cheney: 'We know
they have biological and chemical weapons.'" Said this in a
press conference on March 17th, 2002. "We know they're pursuing
nuclear weapons." He said this in a press briefing on March
19th, 2002. "He is pursuing, activity pursuing nuclear weapons
at this time." He said this on "CNN Late Edition," March 24th.
"We know he's got chemical and biological, and we know he's
working on nuclear."
"Meet the Press," May 19th: "But we know Saddam has resumed his
efforts to acquire nuclear weapons." "There is no doubt he's
amassing them against our friends, against our allies and
against us." August 26th, 2002.
On and on and on. "He has in fact activity and aggressively
seeking to acquire nuclear weapons." September 8th, 2002, "Meet
"He has in fact reconstituted nuclear weapons." March 16th,
"Meet the Press."
This vice president was a driving force in trying to create the
circumstances to justify the United States's attack against
Iran. And he not only deceived the people of the United States,
and the Congress of the United States, he deceived the American
KUCINICH: And so these articles are tightly focused on the
conduct of the vice president. And to the extent that they may
reflect in some way on the conduct of the president of the
United States, is another matter for another day.
KUCINICH: I think the record is very clear, that this vice
president used his conduct of office to promote a war and
Article I and Article II are very clear that he conducted
himself in such a way as to use the power of his office to
promote that war.
And so this relates to the vice president. And I think I
answered the question earlier about why the vice president and
not the president.
Anyone else? I want to thank you very much for being here.
QUESTION: Do you have anyone you would identify as a
replacement? If Vice President Cheney were impeached, it would
have to be voted on the House and the Senate for confirmation.
KUCINICH: That would be up to President Bush.
The full Articles themselves, a large
collection of PDF documents, are accessible
at Congressman Kucinich's website.
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