The "Jefferson's Manual" is an interpretive guide to parliamentary procedure, and is included (along with the Constitution) in the bound volumes of the Rules of the House of Representatives. The section covering impeachment lists the acceptable vehicles for bringing impeachment motions to the floor of the House.
Before the House Judiciary Committee can put together the Articles of Impeachment, someone must initiate the impeachment procedure. Most often, this occurs when members of the House pass a resolution. Another method outlined in the manual, however, is for individual citizens to submit a memorial for impeachment.
After learning this information, Minnesotan and Impeach for Peace member Jodin Morey looked for precedent and discovered an 1826 memorial by Luke Edward Lawless which had been successful in initiating the impeachment of Federal Judge James H. Peck. Impeach for Peace then used this as a template for their "Do-It-Yourself Impeachment." Now any citizen can download the DIY Impeachment Memorial and submit it, making it possible for Americans to do what our representatives have been unwilling to do. The idea is for so many people to submit the Memorial that it cannot be ignored.
Impeach for Peace is now certain that it has a legal document that U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert must recognize. The main organizer for the group, Mikael Rudolph, explains: "He might still toss them all in the trash, but with House Minority Leader John Conyers also receiving copies, Hastert can be held accountable by Conyers as well as by the national press, should they awaken from their deep slumber. Imagine if this gets picked up by the national media and dozens of extra trucks are called into service to deliver tons of mail to Speaker Hastert and Congressman Conyers in mid to late October. " The DIY Impeachment process has already been listed on several national websites, including WorldCantWait.net, in the short time it 's been available.
The timing for delivering these memorials is strategic, designed so that a mammoth influx of DIY Impeachment memorials will be sent in around elections as an "October surprise." Impeach for Peace also researched the delay caused by the radiating of mail used to detect anthrax, and concluded that the mail should be delivered to our representatives by the end of October. Rudolph quips, "Once this is big enough to threaten Bush, I won 't be surprised if Rove sees to it that the letters are investigated for anthrax."
Because one download can be printed any number of times, it 's hard to estimate how many memorials will be sent. Portland's World Can't Wait chapter, for instance, has picked up the ball by making 500 copies, and will make more when they run out.
Rudolph reasons, "America's victory will be a 'death of a thousand cuts.' This 'cut' could be one of the most effective. It 's like a legal method for voting outside of the scheduled polling dates. It is incredibly empowering and awakening for individuals to learn that they can do this." Impeach for Peace has been getting exuberant reactions as people learn that this is the constitutionally mandated procedure by which any federal official is ousted by the people themselves. The Impeachment Memorial is an opportunity to help wake up the populace, get the attention of the media, and perhaps even scare our public officials into the realization that they too may be held accountable once up for election.
According to Rudolph, "Impeachment would lead to the ouster of Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and many others, as they are all equally guilty of war crimes. In an open impeachment trial, the evidence would come out. It isn't the only way we 'll succeed in impeaching Bush and restoring democracy, but it is an important avenue. Let's get it done."