Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: On Dec. 14, I joined with my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Luis Gutierre
January 21, 2008

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

On Dec. 14, I joined with my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), in urging Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to conduct hearings on a resolution of impeachment now pending consideration in that committee.

Among my constituents, there are those who say I have gone too far in calling for Congress to examine possible impeachable offenses by the Bush administration. There are also those who argue I have not gone far enough. In letters, emails, phone calls, personal conversations and listening sessions, I have heard passionate arguments from those who think we are losing our democracy and that I should do more to hold the Bush administration accountable for its actions.

The call to impeach is one I did not take lightly. But as we said in our letter to Chairman Conyers, the issues are too serious to ignore. We simply cannot discount or overlook numerous, credible allegations of abuse of power by the Bush administration that, if proven, may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our Constitution. To prove this, we must follow the form of the signers of our own Declaration of Independence who wrote, "let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

As I said before, I think the framing that Wexler and company are opting for is the absolute right one and one that is difficult with which to argue: call for hearings. Let's not put the cart before the horse and determine the outcome (impeachment) and scare off nervous politicos. Instead, we charge Congress to do their constitutionally mandated job of oversight and simply hold hearing into possible wrongdoing. Do not forget that the Republican-controlled Congress was adamantly against impeachment of Richard Nixon until what was revealed in the investigations made it untenable for them to support Nixon any longer.

If you have not signed the petition at WexlerWantsHearings.com, please do so. My insider sources are telling me that the House leadership is getting very nervous at this growing snowball that is heading towards them. Let's make it an avalanche.

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