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Impeachment unlikely

Mills College Weekly

Student interest in impeaching president Bush is growing after an e-mail to Mills students reported that congressman John Conyers of Michigan is soliciting the public’s opinion on impeachment. Some say they have not found sufficient reason to support this legal action.

While a spokeswoman for Conyers confirmed his attraction to the idea of impeachment, she told the Michigan Daily that he was not heading an impeachment campaign, as some rumors had implied. In fact, the spokeswoman said that the congressman believes pursuing articles of impeachment would actually be unwise and counterproductive.

According to the Constitution, Conyers does have the legal ability as a member of the House to propose an impeachment hearing, but the Constitution also specifies impeachment grounds as commitment of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Government department head Paul Schulman said there is some ambiguity about what this constitutes, but certainly some law violation would be necessary.

Schulman said he does not see grounds for impeachment, unless it were proven that Bush, who he said is acting under Congressional authorization to disarm Iraq, presented a fraudulent description of the conditions he would operate under to bring the U.S. to a resolution with Iraq, or if the president were operating outside of the resolution in a way that clearly contradicted its intent.

Finally Schulman said,” incompetence alone is not a sufficient ground for impeachment, so something would have to amount to a crime.”

Associate government professor Anne Marie Choup added that as chief of the armed forces, while he cannot declare war, Bush is allowed to deploy troops without Congressional approval, as long as he informs Congress within 48 hours of making such decisions, which he did.

Yet student activists, like senior Rachel Herndon, continue to support impeachment.

“I feel that the election itself was illegal, the resulting foreign policy has been illegal, the chosen cabinet and administration has been illegal, and I would like to see that our country can still redeem itself with democracy and legality,” said Herndon.

She said that Bush, himself, is not the biggest problem, but she said that he is “a mouthpiece for the problem,” and feels impeaching Bush would be the first step to regaining worldwide political and social balance.

Senior Alethia Hostetter also voiced her opinions on impeachment. “I certainly would like to get rid of him, but I don’t know that impeaching is the best way or legal way. We don’t want to set a precedent of impeaching a president every time they do something we don’t like.”

It is still un-known whether Conyers will ever pursue the impeachment of president Bush, said a congressional aide who explained that the congressman will be “studying” the opinions collected from the public. So far, several thousand people have responded to the poll, and opinions on impeachment have “turned full circle” since the onset of war, said the aide, who could not give her name. People are not generally opposed to impeaching Bush anymore.