-Senior Correspondent-

WASHINGTON ( – In the face of strong opposition from the leadership of his own party, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)–along with three stalwart co-sponsors–has once again raised the specter of impeaching President George W. Bush, and more. He also wants Mr. Bush tried for war crimes.

“President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” Rep. Kucinich said on the House Floor in a marathon four-hour session June 9 in which he read all 35 charges. “Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.”

By such conduct, Mr. Kucinich argued, President Bush “is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.”


But both the House and Senate leadership have already ruled out any formal impeachment proceedings before Mr. Bush leaves office.

“Impeachment is off the table,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said repeatedly. “And it is a waste of time,” she told reporters in a broadcast interview in late 2006, shortly before she became speaker.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has made similar pledges to block any impeachment attempts of the President or of Vice President Dick Cheney.

“Democrats are not about getting even. Democrats are about helping the American people get ahead. And that’s what our agenda is about. So while some people are excited about prospects that they have, in terms of their priorities, they are not our priorities. I have said, and I say again, that impeachment is off the table,” Ms. Pelosi said.

“Those who argue that Congress should ‘get on with real issues’ such as the Iraq war, miss the very point of the impeachment effort,” Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) one of three co-sponsors of the impeachment resolutions said in an op-ed article written for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“In fact, it is this very war–entered into following an unprecedented campaign of lies and manipulated intelligence–that necessitates impeachment hearings,” Mr. Wexler said. “This war has cost us the lives of 4,090 U.S. soldiers, injuries to over 30,000, and more than a trillion taxpayer dollars when it is all said and done.

“Sadly, the war is only the beginning. We now know that this administration illegally ordered the torture of prisoners, obstructed justice by lying about the outing of a covert CIA agent and authorizing warrantless spying on U.S. citizens. No one can deny that, if proven, these allegations amount to high crimes. Our failure to act sets an awful precedent and enables future presidents to break the law and violate our Constitution without sanctions from Congress,” Rep. Wexler continued.

While the subject of impeachment is on the “back burner” as far as broad public opinion is concerned, a recent straw poll by asked if Mr. Bush’s actions justify impeachment. More than 700,000 votes had been cast by mid-June, with 89 percent answering yes.

Even House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), who was one of the first House members to offer a resolution to impeach former Pres. Richard Nixon, has stated his opposition to impeachment of Mr. Bush.

Talk of impeachment “academically, is great. I’ve got a number of books from my friends about which articles would be best and which ones we should go after more. But it seems to me that the time element and also the feasibility of whether or not there is any possible chance of success–there is a very stark reality that with the corporatization of the media, we could end up with turning people who should be documented in history as making many profound errors and violating the Constitution from villains into victims,” Mr. Conyers told Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now!”

When asked about the opposition of his own party leadership, Mr. Kucinich was steadfast. “We have a moral obligation to have hearings in Judiciary to make a determination whether or not this is so. This goes beyond politics. I have a great respect for John Conyers, I have a great respect for Nancy Pelosi, but this goes beyond politics. This is not–you know, our whole government rests on moral principles, not just on political principles.

“And so, we need to evaluate what Congress’s rightful role is here. George Bush has acted in a way that has separated him from the rule of law. Congress must hold him accountable. And to say, ‘Well, we have more important things to do’–what could be more important than finding out whether or not the President of the United States has committed war crimes, whether or not he’s violated United States law and repeatedly violated the Constitution?” Mr. Kucinich asked.