Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Sunday, March 25, 2007
A Quicker Solution
If Abu won't resign, and if Bush won't cooperate in Congressional oversight by playing out the clock, why not impeach administration officials like Abu Gonzales?
"The Constitution's Impeachment Clause applies to all 'civil officers of the United States' - not to mention the president, vice president and federal judges," Dean wrote. "It is not clear who, precisely, is among those considered 'civil officers,' but the group certainly includes a president's cabinet and sub-cabinet, as well as the senior department officials and the White House staff (those who are issued commissions by the president and serve the President and Vice President)."

Dean writes on the precedent: "Impeachment of Secretary of War William Belknap, in the aftermath of the Civil War, is the only precedent for using these proceedings against subordinate executive officers. Belknap was said to be involved in a kickback scheme involving military contracts. Just hours before the House was to vote to impeach him, Belknap resigned. Nonetheless, on March 2, 1876, the House impeached the former cabinet officer, and the five articles of impeachment were presented to the Senate."
There's little doubt that Bushies have used every possible innovation of the Constitution to take power. Why not be innovative in using obscure provisions, not usually needed when people play nice, to exercise oversight?