(APN) EXCLUSIVE: The number of Members of US Congress supporting US Rep. John Conyerss (D-MI) H. Res 635 has now jumped to 17, including Mr. Conyers. The US House bill would create a Select Committee to investigate the grounds for impeaching President Bush.
The two newest co-sponsors are US Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and James Oberstar (D-MN), who signed on yesterday, February 1, 2006. Just yesterday, Atlanta Progressive News exclusively reported that H. Res 635 had reflected 14 total co-sponsors at the time [not including Mr. Conyers in that number].
A total of 20 members of US Congress now support either a probe that could lead to Bushs impeachment, Bushs outright impeachment, or Bushs resignation.
As of today, the 17 total co-sponsors of H. Res 635 are Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
As reported yesterday, US Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) withdrew her name, whereas she was listed as a cosponsor throughout January 2006, citing a clerical error for her name having been listed in the first place. Lofgrens Office told Atlanta Progressive News the Representative learned of her being listed as a co-sponsor after an article by APN issued January 01, 2006.
"The most basic foundations of our democracy are set forth in our nation's Constitution. For more than two centuries, people around the world have looked to our nation and our Constitution as a beacon of freedom and a model for the world to follow," US Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) told John Nichols of The Capital Times Newspaper (Madison, WI), of her support of H. Res 635.
"The founders of our nation were clear that the most important role of the president is to '... preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' President Bush has twice taken this oath of office. In the past several years, numerous questions have been raised about President Bush's conduct in relation to some of the most basic elements of our democracy: respect for the rule of law, the principle of checks and balances, and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights," Baldwin told The Capital Times.
The thing about H. Res. 635 is, it deals with impeaching Bush over a cluster of issues from misleading the public to go to war, to authorizing torture. Wiretapping was not listed as one of the reasons to investigate the grounds for Bushs impeachment in the bill because the existence of the secret, illegal wiretapping had not come to light yet when the bill was being prepared.
Some Members of Congress such as US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) appear to see firmer grounds for impeaching Bush over his controversial authorization of illegal wiretapping on Americans, than for the reasons cited in H. Res. 635. Mr. Lewis told a radio station in December he would support impeachment over wiretapping.
It is unclear at this point whether Conyers or another member of Congress is prepared to introduce a new bill which would deal specifically with impeaching Bush over wiretapping.
US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) asked four legal scholars to analyze the grounds for Bushs impeachment in December 2005. Perhaps these scholars opinions, in conjunction with US Senate hearings to commence next week, will allow for the spyings legality or illegality to be concluded with more certainty.
The text of H. Res 635 is as follows: