(APN) EXCLUSIVE: The number of Members of US Congress supporting US Rep. John Conyers 's (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.
A total of 20 members of US Congress now support either a probe that could lead to Bush 's impeachment, Bush 's outright impeachment, or Bush 's resignation.
This is edging close to ten percent (10%) of the Democrats in the US House.
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).
Meanwhile, US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said he would support impeaching Bush over the issue of domestic wiretapping in late December 2005. At the same time, US Reps. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) have called for Bush to step down by signing on to a "World Can 't Wait" statement issued to Atlanta Progressive News.
"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 Bush 's 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 Bush 's impeachment in December 2005. Perhaps these scholars ' opinions, in conjunction with US Senate hearings to commence next week, will allow for the spying 's legality or illegality to be concluded with more certainty.
The text of H. Res 635 is as follows: