Texas Congressman: Impeachment “Needs to Happen”

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Impeachment usually represents a punitive act following the commission of a crime, but some are looking to it as a last means of self-defense. At a Tea Party town hall meeting last night Rep. Michael Burgess, R-TX, said impeachment “needs to happen” to stop Barack Obama from inflicting more “damage” on this country.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram claims an attendee “suggested that the House push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama to obstruct the president from pushing his agenda.” Burgess, who represents four counties in northern Texas, responded: “It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up. No question about that.” He later stood by his comment. “We need to tie things up. The longer we allow the damage to continue unchecked, the worse things are going to be for us.”

Burgess made his comments at a town hall meeting with the NE Tarrant Tea Party Tuesday evening in Denton, Texas.

The Star-Telegram adds, “Burgess said he wasn’t sure whether the proper charges to bring up articles of impeachment against Obama were there.” Since the reporter does not quote Congressman Burgess nor elaborate on this sentence, it is uncertain whether Burgess said he was not sure Obama had committed an impeachable offense or whether the charges could pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. While there are ample grounds for impeachment, it would take intense citizen pressure to force senators to vote for conviction.

The event was broadcast live on UStream, but it is not yet archived on the Congressman’s video page. If you have more information about — or video of — this incident, please contact me.

Whatever the circumstances surrounding Burgess’ words, he is part of a significant and growing number of Congressmen willing to see Obama removed from office….

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House Democrats, Media are Pressing Obama Toward Impeachment

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Historians agree empires and presidencies die from imperial overreach. Now Barack Obama’s closest allies in the Democratic Party, the far-Left, and the media are encouraging him to take actions that will lead inexorably to his impeachment. The president’s hubris and lawlessness seem destined to collide with Washington’s tense polemical atmosphere in a showdown that will put his presidency on the chopping block.

The leaders of the House Democratic Caucus this week urged the president to usurp Congressional authority and order the government to continue borrowing money, (mis)using the 14th Amendment. Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut called the provision “the fail-safe option” to assure Republicans do not hold the American people hostage.” Larson added House Democrats are “prepared to stand behind” Obama all the way.

Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina played the race card in justifying his call for an executive power grab:

I was joking to my staff the other day: “Tell me the bill number for the Emancipation Proclamation.” It was an executive order. We integrated the armed services by executive order. We integrated the public schools by executive order. Sometimes executives must order that things get done…If the president gets up to August 2 without a piece of legislation, he should not allow this country to go into default. He should sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment and send that to all the governmental agencies for us to continue to pay our bills.

This, Clyburn said, would “calm to the American people.”

He added, almost as an afterthought, “discussion about the legality of that can continue.”

Xavier Becerra, D-CA, went further. He said Obama had to raise the debt ceiling “just as the president took out Osama bin Laden in a way that some presidents wouldn’t have done it.” Thus, preserving big government spending from Republicans takes on the same moral urgency as saving America from al-Qaeda. Becerra sidestepped the legal issue altogether, saying, “The Republicans through their failure have given you license to do whatever it takes.”

The press conference was the most assertive lobbying for this dangerous course of action, which is enjoying increasingly broad support in both houses of Congress. Earlier this week Connecticut’s Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who defeated wrestling executive Linda McMahon in 2010, said the measure “might be something that arguably could be done in the face of genuine crisis, in the face of catastrophe.”

Other prominent party leaders have lent their rhetorical support, however dissembling. Bill Clinton lied that, if were he ever faced with an imminent government shutdown, he would act unilaterally “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me.” (What was this, “Tweet to my 49-year-old self”?)

Ironically, as these Congressmen encouraged Obama to take unprecedented (and unconstitutional) power over the nation’s purse, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz accused House Republicans of trying to impose a “dictatorship.”

The Democrats’ allies in the media have done their share to keep talk of this political crime alive….

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A Congressman Confirms GOP is Talking Impeachment

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Barack Obama’s threat to bypass Congress and raise the debt ceiling has stirred significant talk of impeachment — and not just on talk radio. A Republican Congressman has confirmed some of his colleagues are talking about initiating impeachment hearings. Scott Keyes of ThinkProgress.org asked Rep. Pete Olson of Texas: “Congressman Tim Scott of South Carolina yesterday in a town hall said if President Obama were to just ignore the debt ceiling, then he might be favoring bringing up articles of impeachment. Is that something that you’ve heard discussed much among your colleagues?” Olson replied, “A little bit.” Olson quickly pivoted to repeating talking points about the debt ceiling, so Think Progress’s Lee Fang followed up: “So Congressman Scott, is he just a lonely voice or are there a large number of people who are talking about this?” Olson answered, “He’s not a lonely voice.”

Congressman Olson’s statement confirms that a number of Congressmen are discussing a motion to remove Barack Obama from office.

(Story continues after the video)

Tim Scott is not the first member of the present Congress to raise impeachment….

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Impeachment Works? Obama Backs Off Fascist Debt Ceiling Threat

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Conservatives who say they believe in “peace through strength” might take a lesson from the Obama administration this week. Its officials walked back discussion of an end-run around Congress on the debt ceiling after Republicans stepped up their talk of impeaching Barack Obama.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had raised the possibility the president might unilaterally raise the debt ceiling under the pretext of the 14th Amendment. On Tuesday, Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina told the Tea Party group LowCountry 9.12, “that is an impeachable act…This jeopardizes the credibility of our nation, if one man can usurp the entire system set up by our Founding Fathers.”

The next day, Texas Republican Pete Olson told the left-wing website ThinkProgress.org that Scott is “not a lonely voice” on impeachment.

Even Obama supporters distanced themselves from such a blatant violation of the separation of powers. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who was a judicial adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign, wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled, We Cannot Pretend the Debt Ceiling is Unconstitutional.” He noted the dramatic implications of the proposed usurpation of powers: “In theory, Congress could pay debts not only by borrowing more money, but also by exercising its powers to impose taxes, to coin money or to sell federal property. If the president could usurp the congressional power to borrow, what would stop him from taking over all these other powers, as well?”

This growing resistance may explain why the Obama administration is distancing itself from this dictatorial action wrapped in the Constitution.

On Friday, Geithner….

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