On this day in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Nixon, charging he had personally engaged in a course of conduct designed to obstruct justice.
Just two days ago, the House Judiciary Committee was convened to discuss “Executive Power and the Limitations of the Constitution.” Witnesses experienced with this process, Elizabeth Holtzman and Bruce Fein, among others, presented compelling testimony regarding what even some Republicans (including Walter Jones and Ron Paul) consider unlawful actions by our country’s administrative branch.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich entered into the record remarkable evidence, which is available for five days for all members of the committee to review. It is the line-by-line comparison of the CIA classified report and the de-classified version that was presented to Congress to convince them to vote for war. It’s obvious that critical words were omitted—is an omission not a lie?
Although John Dean was ill and could not appear at the hearing, he has just succinctly written the details of how in 1974, the Republicans realized that they could not support their president. The revelation of the “smoking gun” tapes was the turning point; they were shocked that they were supporting someone who would lie.
What of today’s Republican members of Congress—do they condone lying? I do not think that most of them do. So we must ask Chairman Conyers to move forward to real impeachment hearings—we have the time, we have sufficient evidence (only one article is needed! How about refusing to respond to a subpoena? You or I would be in the slammer.). He knows how to do it. He was there before. What could he be afraid of—the truth?
Shirley Golub is a recent democratic congressional challenger to Nancy Pelosi and long-time political activist in San Francisco.