According to the published "House Rules And Manual," as I read it, any Member of the House, after being recognized by the Chair to speak, could propose the following "motion to impeach," as shown below:
"I move to impeach the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of Defense,
For their many and persistent high crimes and misdemeanors against the Country;
And in particular, for spitting in the face of Congress,
By conspiring to commit the crime of Torture,
In direct violation of our specific Law, and
Against our clear and oft-restated will forbidding Torture."
Under the "House Rules And Manual," this motion to impeach would be "highly privileged," and would take immediate priority over any regular business already before the House. It would be immediately debated on the floor, without first having to go into Committee. If defeated, it could be moved again and again and again, in contrast to regular non-privileged motions. It would not be killed by an initial rejection.
You can see the "House Rules And Manual" located here: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/hrm/index.html .
According to this official website, this document "contains the fundamental source material for parliamentary procedure used in the House of Representatives," and includes The Constitution, excerpts from Thomas Jeffersons's "Manual Of Parliamentary Procedure," and "Rules Of The House." Within this document, there is a section called "impeachment," on pages 313-330. The words in this section are a functioning part of the parliamentary rules used by the House today. For your convenience, I have copied this section into a file located at http://www.loveallpeople.org/impeachment.txt ,
This section contains the following words, which show that any one Member of the House can move to impeach, directly from the floor, without having first to go through Committee:
". . . there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate; by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination; by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee; by a message from the President; by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State or territory, or from a grand jury ; or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House." (footnotes not shown here)
And this same section says that, "A direct proposition to impeach is a question of high privilege in the House and at once supersedes business otherwise in order under the rules governing the order of business. It may not even be superseded by an election case, which is also a matter of high privilege. It does not lose its privilege from the fact that a similar proposition has been made at a previous time during the same session of Congress, previous action of the House not affecting it." (footnotes not shown here)
And so we see that any Member can move directly to impeach, and that such a motion takes precedence over almost everything else, and that it does not have to go into Committee prior to being debated on the floor, and if it is defeated, it can be made again and again.
Two more related documents are "House Practice," at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/hpractice/index.html , and "Rules and Precedents that Govern the House of Representatives," at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/precedents/index.html These two documents provide additional support for our efforts to impeach.
NOTE: A huge and wonderful online source of Government Documents is located at the Government Printing Office: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ I usually criticize the Bush Administration for almost everything they do, because I think they are fundamentally wrong on almost all the important issues. BUT - they have done a really great job in making so much Government information available online, free of charge, to all people. This is really good, in my opinion.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER TO IMPEACH AND REMOVE FROM OFFICE
The House of Representatives has the Constitutional power to impeach any Government civilian official, that is, to present charges against him to the Senate, which must then conduct a trial and remove him from office if convicted. In Article I, Section 2, the Constitution says, "The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment." And in Article I, Section 3 it says, "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments." And in Article II, Section 4 it says, "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Source: United States Constitution, as located at http://www.loveallpeople.org/usconstitutiona.txt and elsewhere.
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