DeFazio signs up for Cheney investigation

The Oregonian reports that Oregon Rep Peter DeFazio has signed a letter demanding "aggressive oversight hearings" into Vice-President Dick Cheney's role regarding the Iraq war and other illegal actions. From the paper's web edition:

WASHINGTON - Rep. Pete DeFazio, D-Ore., officially joined a small but persistent group of Democrats Wednesday calling for a robust investigation into the tenure of Vice President Dick Cheney as a possible prelude to impeachment.

DeFazio agreed to sign a letter circulated by Rep. Bob Wexler of Florida who has been relentlessly driving the so-far unsuccessful effort to boot Cheney from office.

Wexler is backing his demands by orchestrating a petition drive aimed at showing public demand for investigating Cheney. The focal point of that effort is a Web site that allows anyone to sign the impeachment petition. So far, he has 227,000 signatures.

"The charges against the vice president relate to the core actions of this Administration, its unlawful behavior and its abuse of power," Wexler wrote in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.

Many in Oregon have been hoping for their lawmakers to take such a step, and now DeFazio has.

DeFazio, who has been a frequent critic of the administration, said he had remained largely on the sidelines of the impeachment debate until now because it was centered in the Judiciary Committee of which he is not a member.

But Wexler circulated the current letter more broadly, allowing members like DeFazio an opportunity to officially voice their concerns.

Even so, DeFazio isn't quite as absolute as Wexler, who has been calling for impeachment for months.

DeFazio said in an interview that he supports aggressive oversight hearings into questions surrounding Cheney's performance but is withholding calls for impeachment until a case is made. "I have said I want to have the most aggressive oversight ... regarding malfeasance by this administration," DeFazio said.

"Cheney is the pivot point to the most nefarious practices of this administration."

Read the whole piece and then discuss.

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)


  • verasoie (unverified)

    Oh boy, and maybe then they'll investigate all of the shenanigans in the 2000 elections in Florida, and then the 2004 elections in Ohio, and then the FBI foreknowledge of the existence of the 9/11 hijackers, and then.........

    Thanks for nothing, DeFazio and all of the other spineless Dems for running out the clock on this and every other impeachable offense and scandal perpetrated by the Bush administration.

    What's that phrase about the horse already being out of the barn?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    So far, he has 227,000 signatures.

    Out of 300 million people? Is that a new definition for apathy?

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    Holy cow, a bright spot in the day! Good.

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    Wow, so we DO have a rep who thinks the Constitution matters. I was beginning to wonder.

    Too bad he's not mine, but I'll take what I can get.

    From one Pete to another, good job! What took you so long?

  • WestSalem (unverified)

    How about saving us the trouble of googling the Wexler petition link?

    Yes, I know we are perfectly capable, but isn't a great part of technology the efficiency?

    Thanks for considering this input on future articles involving things as important as petitions.

    1-20-09 !

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    WestSalem: probably because they assume we all did the sensible thing, and signed it last month! ;)

    Here it is:

    Wexler Wants Hearings

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    eh, a pretty weak endorsement.

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    Hooray! DeFazio rules...but it's also about f*#@ing time.

    It's a pity DeFazio seems to be the only member of our congressional delegation who's read the Constitution.

    And sadly, at the rate Congress moves, Cheney & Bush will be long out of office before there is a chance to remove the stain they've smeared on our national honor by impeaching them.

  • sparker (unverified)

    Maybe I'm missing something but Darlene Hooley has a statement on her web page that she gave in September 2006 that says:

    Oversight must be followed by accountability. Impeachment is in the Constitution and should never, ever be off the table for any President. Congress needs to right the wrongs of this Administration, and I want to use every tool available to hold individuals accountable for their actions.

    Earl Blumenauer also has a statement on his web site from Sep. 2006 that says:

    I believe that oversight must lead to accountability. Impeachment is among the range of options for Congress to consider as we seek to hold President Bush and others accountable for their actions. Impeachment may not be ripe, either procedurally or politically, now but that does not mean that it won’t be in the future. Congress cannot let this administration off the hook or give them a “Get out of Jail Free” card by taking impeachment off the table.

    While it is important that investigations and accountability measures be neither partisan nor political in nature, Congress must make the necessary effort to expose and punish the abuses of the last six and a half years. If these investigations show that impeachment is warranted and necessary, then Congress should not be afraid to take that step.

    And DeFazio is quoted:

    "I have said I want to have the most aggressive oversight ... regarding malfeasance by this administration,"

    Aren't they all in agreement?

  • JohnH (unverified)

    What verasoie said! DeFazio has been pressed by his constitutents for years about impeachment, but suddenly has an epiphany when there are only 340 days left to build the case and prosecute it. DeFazio kept saying that Democrats had their plates full passing important legislation. Yeah, right! With a couple exceptions, DittoHead Democrats were just rubber stamping whatever came their way.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Better late than never.

  • JohnH (unverified)

    When it's too late to matter, the distinction between 'late' and 'never' is moot.

  • ruralvoter (unverified)

    Yeah Peter!

  • john f. bradach, sr. (unverified)

    Let us be patient.

    DeFazio's signing onto the Wexler letter yesterday was the right thing, if some think not at the right time.

    Today all of Democratic representatives in Congress did the right thing, pushing out contempt citations on Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton.

    The courts will soon decide, whether we still have a constitutional system of checks and balances, or if Bush really is "the decider" of what the law is.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Impeaching a drunken loser who shot his best friend in the face and then had a "bloody rare" roast beef dinner... as he packs up the moving van... is beyond pathetic!

    Way beyond!

    I worked on Capitol Hill with these lightweight pansies. The only thing they (both sides of the aisle) care about is whether their Lincoln Town Car is on time and if the intern is "game".

    Other than that, it's like Enron, on a so-so day. Without the laughs at the water cooler.

    Please be different, Senator Obama, please!!!!

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)

    I will tell you what is pathetic. 3960 dead American kids, in a lie-launched War.

    We must bring these wrong-doers to justice.

    Right hands in the air!


    I would start with Richare Armitage. He knows all about it, and he is already pissed. See the movie, "No End In Sight".

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)


    It is unfortunate that Karen Kwiatkowski was included in this rogues gallery. She was very much opposed to the Bushies in the Pentagon and their efforts to get the war going in Iraq. She takes libertarian positions which may upset some readers on Blue Oregon, but she states some points we should all agree with if we believe in the Constitution and preserving the republic. Click here for articles by Col. Kwiatkowski

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    Regarding DeFazio, Blumenauer, and Hooley:

    Yes, it's true that all three have now expressed familiarity with their Constitutional duties. This is a good thing.

    Something that I think is lacking, is putting their names out there in a way that makes it easy to "count" on a national scale. I'm only aware of one way for a Rep. to do that, which is to add one's name as a cosponsor to Kucinich's original H.R. 333 from last spring. It is apparently still possible to do that, as Rep Boswell (IA-3) just did so yesterday, becoming the 25th cosponsor.

    Now, it may be that our Reps don't want to join that, because what they support is "investigations that may lead to impeachment," while the resolution calls explicitly for impeachment.

    If that is the case, I hope that all three will seek ways to make their positions more meaningful than mere words in a press release, and to indicate to the media and the public that there is a groundswell of support for accountability in Congress, in addition to that among the general public.

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    p.s. Here's a link to H.R. 333 on THOMAS.

  • dddave (unverified)

    If DeFazio had even an inkling about the Constitution he would dispense with the partisan hackery. Maybe he would have been concerned about private property right in his OWN STATE. And to be linked with Wexler on ANYTHING is not a smart move. What an idiot.

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)

    Bill Bolden:

    Not everyone on my witness list is culpable.

    Karen Kwiatkowski and Armitage are there, because they are eyewitnesses. She has already written much from personal observation that should have had these guys out the door years ago. She is a hero, in my book.

    See her account of the bad guys at work, in "The New Pentagon Papers"

    For a primer on impeachment and its current status and utility, see the talk I gave at the law school on Wednesday:

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Not everyone on my witness list is culpable.

    Thanks for the clarification. I have a hunch some people reading this thread would not have appreciated Karen Kwiatkowski for being exceptional in more than one sense of the word.

    Back to impeachment. While I signed a number of petitions for impeachment I have come to the conclusion that it will go nowhere thanks in part to collusion of the Democrats with the Republicans and the failure on the part of both oligarchies and all but a few members in the House to live up to their Constitutional responsibilities. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that non-partisans from various groups with a common interest in the Constitution, the principle of republicanism, and the law will come together and form an independent commission with greater integrity than the 9/11 Commission to investigate all of the crimes associated with the war on Iraq and publish a report documenting these crimes and that some of the people in these United States will learn something from it.

  • Harry K (unverified)


    Blumenauer showed that he either didn't know how the Senate works or that he was, as usual, trying to triangulate/obfuscate (or both). He has always been an enabler of the Bushies, and beliefs to the contrary should be taken with the same grain of salt as the "fact" that the Earth is only 6000 years old.

    Stop worshiping false idols.

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