Vice President Dick Cheney must be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a Brooklyn lawmaker charged last week, joining an elite group of seven members of Congress calling for the Veep’s firing.
“This Administration has continued to erode the trust of the American people and enough is simply enough,” said Rep. Yvette Clarke (D–Park Slope), signing onto House Resolution 333, which was drafted by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D–Ohio).
The bill charges that Cheney “purposefully manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction” to justify invading Iraq.
Cheney is hardly a popular fellow among the Brooklyn Congressional delegation, but not one other Brooklyn member — not Nydia Velazquez, not Anthony Weiner, and not even uber-liberal Jerry Nadler — has signed on.
Weiner (D–Sheepshead Bay) and Velazquez (D–Sunset Park) declined to comment on the resolution.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Ed Towns (D–Fort Greene) said that the congressman hadn’t signed onto the resolution because it didn’t stand a chance, while a rep for Nadler (D–Coney Island) speculated that his boss hadn’t signed on because, “We have only a little over 18 months left in the presidency.”
But at least one former Brooklyn representative, and an old hand at impeachment, encouraged Congress to take action already.
“This resolution is a very strong statement that the vice president has to be held accountable to the rule of law, to the Constitution and to democracy,” said former Rep. Liz Holtzman, who took part in the impeachment of President Nixon.
But Holtzman has a bigger target in mind.
“The evidence is very strong that the president of the United States has done impeachable offenses and should be removed from office,” said Holtzman, who also pushed her book, “The Impeachment of George W. Bush.”
That said, Holtzman is not surprised by the Democratic Congress’s inaction.
“Democrats are timid about impeachment. I was in the House in 1973 when the impeachment effort started with Nixon. At the outset, Congress was very reluctant to act. … The only time Congress was out in front was the impeachment of Bill Clinton, which was an abuse of Congressional power.”
It’s not the first time Clarke has staked out an unpopular position. Earlier this year, she was the only member of Congress to vote against a resolution to rename the library on Ellis Island after beloved immigrant Bob Hope.