"Back in 1973," Barbara Ellis wrote in a recent paper that has inspired a new strategy among advocates of impeachment, "nearly 90 Democratic House members banded together to hopper separate bills to impeach Nixon. Two-thirds of them were to investigate whether Nixon's deeds rose to the level of Constitutional standards for impeachment; the other third were plain-vanilla articles of impeachment. In October alone, a flood of 40 bills were filed in that Democratic-controlled House."
Today there are 50 or 60 members of Congress who openly or secretly support impeachment or impeachment hearings for Cheney. There are 26 who have signed onto actual articles of impeachment (Kucinich's resolution), several others who have signed onto a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers urging impeachment hearings, several others who have made public comments suggesting they favor the hearings, and several more who signed on during the last Congress to Conyers' resolution to create a "preliminary impeachment investigation." Conyers has not reintroduced that bill.
A group of citizen activists from around the country has been meeting with members of Congress and their staffers to argue a case for recreating what they are calling the Nixon flooding plan. If, they argue, just the 30 or 40 members who are currently pushing for Cheney's impeachment were to file their own resolutions, the impact would be far greater than simply adding more names to Kucinich's bill or to a Dear Colleague letter. All that is needed, in other words, to move impeachment forward in the House might be for those who already claim to support it to put their printers where their mouths are and crank out a couple of dozen new bills.
Barbara Ellis, the author of the paper excerpted above, is an impeachment activist in Oregon and a member of a group called the National Coalition of We the People. Three members of this group, Michael Greenman from Ohio, Marcia Meyers from Oregon, and Carl McCargo from Massachusetts, traveled to Washington, D.C., last week and met with 32 congressional offices, in some cases with members and in others with staff. They intentionally included among those they spoke with some of the leaders of the original Nixon Flooding Plan who are still in Congress: Pete Stark (CA-8), John Conyers (MI-1), William Lacy Clay (MO-1), David Obey (WI-7), and Charles Rangel (NY-19).
They brought along a packet of information that included Ellis's paper:
A partial list of the bills introduced against Nixon:
Arguments in favor of this approach: