By Scott Greer
As the federal government’s partial shutdown, sparked by Senate Democrats’ refusal to discuss budget compromises with Republicans in the House, continues, there’s a word more and more members of Congress are connecting to President Obama.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., declared Tuesday that Obama has “committed impeachable offenses” and warned that America slowly is turning into a dictatorship under his leadership.
“We can have an impeachment hearing in the House, and in my mind the president has committed impeachable offenses,” Bachmann told talk show host Rusty Humphries in an interview that was reported by The Hill Wednesday.
She described the actions of the administration, including shutting down national parks and preventing veterans from visiting war memorials, as “thuggery” and stated that the American people have had just about enough of it.
“I think we could be on the cusp of seeing civil disobedience – I’m not saying I want civil disobedience – but people aren’t going to take the thuggery of this president much longer,” she said. “We see thuggery going on in the White House, we’re not going to take it. We’ve drawn a line in the sand, and we’re telling the president you need to recognize … that you are a co-equal branch of government. You are not a dictator.”
Bachmann congratulated tea party activists for putting pressure on their representatives in Congress and urged them to continue raising their voices.
“What this is about is whether or not we will hold on to a constitutional republic,” she said. “I want the tea party to know they made a profound difference and what they’re fighting for is to see if we’re actually going to be a constitutional republic or if we’re going to be totally devolved into a dictatorship under somebody like Barack Obama.”
More than a dozen members of Congress already have raised the prospect of impeachment.
One of the others is Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who has received 435 copies of the book “Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama From Office” and plans to distribute a copy to every member of the House of Representatives.
Stockman told WND that he believes the book contains information that every member of Congress should know, and he believes discussing impeachment should not be forbidden.
“Enforcing the Constitution and preserving limitations on executive authority aren’t just mainstream, they’re the law,” Stockman said.
Stockman previously told WND that the way Obama was planning to intervene in Syria was not in alignment with the Constitution.
“The Constitution and the War Powers Resolution clearly require the president to seek congressional approval before engaging our military in any action other than a national emergency created by an attack on the United States,” Stockman explained.
He also criticized the president for flip-flopping from his 2008 campaign position in which he declared that taking America to war without congressional approval was an impeachable offense. He said that there were clear reasons why this sudden change in position took place.
“Two reasons, the arrogance of power and Obama’s lack of discipline. It sounds like Obama rushed to state a Syria position before seriously consulting advisers about it,” Stockman stated.
In “Impeachable Offenses,” New York Times best-selling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott expose and explain the high crimes and misdemeanors that Obama has committed during his presidency.
They reveal how he has fundamentally and unquestionably abused the powers of his office and done serious, sustained and possibly irreversible injury to American society.
Among the topics:
- How Obamacare is not only unconstitutional, but illegally bypasses Congress, infringes on states’ rights, and marks an unprecedented and unauthorized expansion of IRS power.
- How Obama sidestepped Congress and already has granted largely unreported de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
- How the Obama administration recklessly endangered the public by releasing from prison criminal illegal aliens at a rate far beyond what is publicly known.
- The president’s personal role in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks, with new evidence regarding what was transpiring at the U.S. mission prior to the assaults – arguably impeachable activities in and of themselves.
- Illicit edicts on gun-control actions in addition to the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation intended, the book shows, to collect fraudulent gun data.
- The move toward a virtual surveillance regime with “fusion centers” and data mining and drones.
Here’s what Stockman said earlier.
“There’s a lot to look at and I think, at some point, if the smoking gun leads to the White House, we have to take action,” he said.
Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, who was speaking at a recent town hall meeting, also raised the issue. A video of his comments was posted at the Western Center for Journalism.
“I’ve looked at the president. I think he’s violated the Constitution. I think he’s violated the Bill of Rights,” he said.
He said at some point a decision must be made, and he said, “I think if the House had an impeachment vote it would probably impeach the president.”
But he noted the 46 members of the GOP in the U.S. Senate, where an impeached president would be put on trial.
Other members of Congress who have discussed the idea include Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas; Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.; Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa; and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
“I think he’s breaking the law if he strikes without congressional approval,” Hunter told the Washington Times recently. “And if he proceeds without Congress providing that authority, it should be considered an impeachable offense.”
He was addressing Obama’s plan to bomb Syria, a plan that now has changed, with the proposal that Syria would turn over all chemical weapons to the international community and the proposed U.S. strike would not happen.
WND also has reported Sen. Coburn’s statement that Obama is “perilously close” to qualifying for impeachment.
Speaking at the Muskogee Civic Center in Oklahoma, the senator said, “What you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president, and that’s called impeachment.
“That’s not something you take lightly, and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means. I think there’s some intended violation of the law in this administration, but I also think there’s a ton of incompetence, of people who are making decisions.”
A constituent then responded, “Even if there is incompetence, the IRS forces me to abide by the law.”
Coburn said he agreed.
“Those are serious things, but we’re in a serious time,” he said. “I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanor, but I think they’re getting perilously close.”
Days earlier, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., said it would be a “dream come true” to impeach Obama.
Bentivolio told the Birmingham Bloomfield Republican Club Meeting, “You know, if I could write that bill and submit it, it would be a dream come true.”
He told constituents: “I feel your pain and I know. I stood 12 feet away from that guy and listened to him, and I couldn’t stand being there. But because he is president I have to respect the office. That’s my job as a congressman. I respect the office.”
Bentivolio said that experience with the president caused him to consult with attorneys about what it would take to remove Obama from office.
Also interested in Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who responded to questions about impeachment.
“It’s a good question,” Cruz responded.
“And I’ll tell you the simplest answer: To successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate.”
Republicans would also need the votes in the House, which Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, thinks they have.
Farenthold said he is often asked why Congress doesn’t impeach the president.
He said he answers, “[I]f we were to impeach the president tomorrow, we would probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it.”
But, like Cruz, Farenthold sees the lack of votes in the Senate as a roadblock.
The congressman also worries about what would happen if they tried to impeach Obama and failed. He believes the unsuccessful attempt to impeach President Clinton hurt the country.
In May, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., suggested Obama could be impeached over a White House cover-up after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
He told listeners of “The Rusty Humphries Show,” “Of all the great cover-ups in history – the Pentagon papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate, all the rest of them – this … is going to go down as most egregious cover-up in American history.”
But even with that searing indictment, Inhofe, too, stopped short of calling for impeachment.
A lawmaker who has offered tentative support for impeachment is Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who said in May he considers it a possibility.
“I’m not willing to take it off the table, but that’s certainly not what we’re striving for,” he told CNN.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., posted a list of reasons on his website in June 2011, before he was elected to office in 2012, explaining why impeachment is proper.
Other high profiles in American society who have raised the idea include media giant Glenn Beck, members of Overpasses For Obama’s Impeachment, Watergate investigator Bob Woodward, WND columnist Nat Hentoff, columnist Burt Prelutsky, and
members of a panel of top constitutional experts.
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