Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hastert, Boehner, Hyde, and Others Say Impeach

Hastert, Hyde, Boehner and six other long time Representatives have gone on record. They have vehemently and eloquently made a case for impeachment when we have a President who lies.
I was very impressed at how outraged they were, how concerned they were about ensuring honor and integrity in the White House. They believe that if the President continues such behavior it would ultimately destroy the fabric of our society and the foundations of our government for future generations.
They were quite firm in saying that such issues were above partisan politics.
If you don't have time to read it all, in summary they said that: A lying President is the antithesis of Truth, Justice and the American Way.
I am relieved, because now I know that they will have to impeach George W. Bush.
This will be the first of a series of diaries where I will share what I learned with you.

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Congressman DENNIS HASTERT (IL) Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker, I am saddened that there is clear and convincing evidence that the President lied. I look to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. According to Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65, impeachment concerns `offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse of violation of some public trust.' In this Nation, all men are created equal.
Simply put, the President in our representative democracy is not a sovereign who is above the law. The President's inability to abide by the law, the Constitution and my conscience have all led me to the solemn conclusion that impeachment articles must be passed.



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Congressman HENRY HYDE (IL)
Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker, Since we are a nation of laws, we must see to it that the laws are upheld and applied equally to all citizens. That principal is what this nation was built on; it is for what our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

And it is in this great legislative body that we are charged with making the laws that govern our nation. To permit the chief executive enforcing those laws to cast them aside as he pleases would, in effect, sanction such actions. To do nothing would be to place a stamp of approval on illicit conduct and transfer power to the executive branch, thus upsetting the system of checks and balances devised by the Framers. It would cheapen the law, which, in turn, would cheapen the work by this House.

A Republic is so difficult to maintain because it demands greater sacrifice and restraint on the part of the ruler and than the ruled. Part of this sacrifice is that our leaders are held to a higher standard of conduct as they set the example for the rest of the citizenry and are placed in a position of trust.”


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Congressman JOHN BOEHNER (OH) Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker,
Under the Constitution that we swore to defend, these are serious crimes, crimes that our constituents would go to prison for, and do we hold the President, the top-ranking law enforcement official in our country, to a lower standard? John Locke once wrote, `Where the law ends, tyranny begins.'

Mr. Speaker, if we believe in our Constitution, then the law does not stop at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In our constitutional democracy, no one, not even the President, is above the law. None of us sought the burden of impeachment when we ran for this office, but every one of us raised our right hand and swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Who are we to ignore that obligation by turning a blind eye to crimes by the leader of our government?

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Congressman LAMAR SMITH (TX)

Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker,
Our entire justice system rests on the rule of law. Without it,
we would not enjoy a civilized and democratic society. To carve out exceptions for anyone, particularly the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, would be to undermine this rule of law.

For the benefit of our country, to set an example for our children, our grandchildren and future generations, we must maintain our high ideals.

That the President has failed to meet the standard does not mean we should lower it.

It involves the most public of relationships, that between a citizen and the justice system, and that between the President and the American people. It is about honor and telling the truth. It is about respect for the law, respect for the office of the presidency, respect for the American people, respect for the officers of the court, respect for women, and ultimately, our own self respect.
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Congressman SAM JOHNSON (TX) Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker,

We have heard the argument that our military forces are fighting. Do my colleagues know what they are fighting for? They are fighting to uphold the Constitution and the oath that we took and they took.

As my colleagues know, when the President stands before God, puts his hand on the Bible and takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and lawfully carry out the duties of his office, he is promising to put the people and the Nation before his own interests. I believe the President violated the laws and beliefs he swore to uphold instead of following the law, respecting American people's values and honoring his office.


He chose to lie, cover up and evade the truth. His actions have made a mockery of the people who fought for this country and are fighting for this Nation today, the Constitution and the laws we live under, and because of the President's actions Congress must act as dictated by the Constitution.

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Congresswoman ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (FL)

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Mr. Speaker,
Our courts of law and our legal system are the bedrock of our
democracy and of our system of individual rights...If we trivialize the role of truth in our judicial system by simply assuming that everyone will lie, then we trivialize the courts themselves, we trivialize the rule of law.

The greatest challenge of free peoples is to restrain abuses of governmental power. The power of the American presidency is awesome. When uncontrolled and abused, presidential power is a grave threat to our way of life, to our fundamental freedoms.

Clearly improper use of executive power by the President to cover-up and obstruct investigations of his public lying in our courts cannot be tolerated. If not checked, such abuses of power serve to legitimize the use of public power for private purposes.

In reviewing this grave matter of impeachment we must seek guidance in first principles. These principles are all based on the recognition of the social compact under which we as citizens join together in the American Republic.

The central promise or commitment of our compact is that our laws will be enforced equally with respect to all, that our civil rights and civil grievances will be fairly adjudicated in our courts, and that the powers we give up to government will be used only for governmental purposes related to the common good.

When these elements of the social compact are violated, the legitimacy of the exercise of governmental powers is brought into question and the underlying compact itself is threatened.

Each members of the compact--each citizen--received the guarantee, received the promise from his or her fellow citizens, that the compact would be honored and that the laws would not be sacrificed on a piecemeal basis for temporary harmony
or immediate gain of some (even in a majority) over others (even a minority).

None of us are free, for any reason of convenience or immediately avoidance of difficult issues, to ignore our promises to our fellow citizens. Our social compact does not permit the breaches of these commitments to our fellow
citizens, and to do so would directly deprive those citizens (whatever their voting strength or numbers) of our solemn promise of the rule of law.

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Congressman CHRIS CANNON (UT) Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker,
I am going to speak to a couple of key points. First, I would
like to create the context by sharing with my colleagues two statements, one by Founding Father John Jay and the other by President Kennedy.

John Jay said, `When oaths cease to be sacred, our dearest and most valuable rights become insecure.'

Four days before his death, President Kennedy visited Florida. There he made the following statement: `In this country I,' referring to the presidency, `carry out and execute the laws of the United States. I also have the obligation of implementing the orders of the courts of the United States.

I can assure you that whoever is president of the United States will do the same, because if he did not,' that is, he, the President, `He would begin to unwind this most extraordinary constitutional system of ours.'

The President's ability to unwind the constitutional system is significant. The President is the only individual charged with ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. He is one of the few Americans who always are an example for good or ill.


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Congresswoman SUE KELLY (NY) Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker,
Perhaps we would all best be guided by the words of Edmund Burke who, in a speech to the Electors of Bristol on November 3, 1774 said,

`Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.'

Certainly, the President has the same right as everyone else to the equal and unfettered protection of our judicial system. This process we undergo today is about whether we will ever again be able to honestly say to ourselves and to our children that we live in a country where no one is above the law.

I still believe in that country. It's not a perfect country. Unfortunately, there is hypocrisy, there is dishonesty, there is evasion of laws. These things surely exist in that country I believe in.

But if by our actions today we sanction hypocrisy, if by our vote we ratify dishonesty, if by our vote we permit evasion of laws at the very highest level of our Government, then we will have forevermore surrendered the thing that makes us uniquely American--a free, yet legal, society.


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Congressman CLIFF STEARNS (FL) Posted by Picasa

Mr. Speaker,
Impeachment does not determine the guilt or innocence of the President. We do not need to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt in order to move forward. Our duty in the House is to decide if the available evidence indicates that the Senate should consider removing the President from office.


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As you may have guessed, they were speaking in December of 1998, when they were called back for a special session to vote on impeaching President William Jefferson Clinton.



I focused on retrieving opinions of those who are still in Congress. A few that I’ve mentioned are now in the Senate. The rest are still serving in the House.
Posted by Picasa
For obvious space reasons I could not copy their entire comments here. However, I want to make it clear that I did not cheat and pull words out of context to change their meaning or intent. The difference is the name of the President that they were discussing.
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Note about finding these and additional opinions of our Representatives on the topic:
http://thomas.loc.gov/ from the Library of Congress. Click on ‘Congressional Record” 105th Congress, Second Session
These were taken from 12/18 and 12/19/1998 records.

You get a prize for reading this far. Mr. Helper at
http://www.youtube.com/
created a mini-video of some of the words here, to the tune of "Lyin Eyes" by the Eagles. It only lasts about 45 seconds, but it is pretty cool:

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1 comment:

Tom Wieliczka said...

In regards to all those "great House Republican' speeches" regarding their vote for Clinton's Impeachment, we must never forget those "awesome" speeches in The Senate about Clinton and Lying!!
They could not stand to see "such Lying and Corruption" in The Clinton Administration.
Gee, think they have a One-Sided-View of Impeachment Rules?
Can all these Republicans in Congress spell "HYPOCRITE"??
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And also never forget that CNN Article as to WHY Ken Starr went after Clinton, according to Starr (try not to laugh too hard)
Ken Starr: Case Against Clinton About Lying, not Sex
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/11/25/starr.sawyer/
Tom Wieliczka