Tag Archives: Blue Dog Democrat

Update on Ellen Tauscher on Impeaching Gonzales

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Photo Source Representative Ellen Tauscher (CA-10th) in blue.

Many of you responded to my diary last week My Democratic Congresswoman Claims Alberto Gonzales Cannot Be Impeached! .

Recap (Again this is cross-posted at DailyKos):

A) I sent Representative Ellen Tauscher an email asking her to initiate impeachment proceedings against Gonzales. She (or her staff) responded via email (and again when I phoned them) that

The Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the president in a non-impeachable office. Unless convicted of an illegal act, the Attorney General cannot be removed from office without the president asking for or accepting his resignation.

B) After re-reading the U.S. Constitution, and posting here for feedback from others I concluded that Tauscher was quite wrong on this urgent point. I sent her local office the following:

1) A copy of the American Bar Association‘s “Impeachment: A Look at the Process. (Hat tip to MLDB)

2) A copy of Professor Frank Bowman’s NYT Op-Ed piece “He’s Impeachable, You Know”. (Hat tip to 8ackgr0und N015e)

3) A copy of the Constitution (because she obviously needs it).

4) A copy of my original letter requesting she start impeachment proceedings against Gonzales.

5) Her office’s response that Gonzales is not impeachable.

And as advised by mmacdDE, all pertinent excerpts are HIGHLIGHTED IN YELLOW!

Here’s the text of my 2nd letter to her:

Dear Representative Tauscher,

I received the enclosed email from you (or one of your staffers) in response to my message about impeaching Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (also enclosed). I was quite startled to read your claim that Gonzales is “not impeachable”. According to the U.S. Constitution he is (please read enclosed documentation). I’m hoping that your staff simply got confused about this very serious situation and sent the wrong information to me, your constituent. A good read-through of the materials I’ve been studying myself will correct that error for my neighbors and others who write to you about this.

If you yourself responded to my letter then I respectfully request that you immediately study the enclosed documents regarding Congressional impeachment of “civil officers”. It seems very clear to me (and to the American Bar Association, and to Professor Frank Bowman, all enclosed) that Mr. Gonzales is indeed impeachable.

I therefore again request that you begin impeachment proceedings against this man. He’s either lying to Congress (a triple felony) or he’s incompetent. Either way Mr. Gonzales is endangering our democracy every day he stays in office.

Please act as my reprepresentative in this urgent matter.


Emily Duffy

I just received Tauscher’s response to my packet. There was a lot of repetition from the first form letter (why Gonzales is so bad, how she’s watching him carefully etc.) but this part was new, and probably as close to humble pie as she can swallow on this huge error:

I apologize for inaccuracies contained in any earlier correspondence. I want to set the record straight on my actions. I am a co-sponsor of two bills to remove Gonzales from office. On May 22, I co-sponsored H. Res. 417, which declares that the House of Representatives and the American people have lost confidence in Attorney General Gonzales. It calls on the President to nominate a new candidate capable of serving as the head of the Department of Justice. Additionally, I am a co-sponsor of H. Res. 589, introduced yesterday by Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington, which directs the House Judiciary Committee to initiate an impeachment investigation of the Attorney General. The resolution requests a formal investigation of the facts surrounding the Attorney General’s actions in order to allow Congress to determine whether articles of impeachment are appropriate.

My friends, don’t let ANYONE ever tell you that you have no political power. Here is your proof that something as simple as a letter to your Congressperson could change their position on a crucial issue (from impeachability-denier to impeachment-bill-co-sponsor in two easy steps).

I’m sure plenty of you will be angry at reading Tauscher’s lame inexplicable apology, and in a perfect world I would be as well (at least she didn’t try to lay it at some hapless staffer’s feet). I’m thrilled she changed her official position on this issue. Many of Tauscher’s votes piss me off but if she’s able to adapt to the rising power of the true political center (which is way left of her former position) then I’m willing to let her keep her job. But, the moment she slips back into DLC behavior, she’s an election target (and I think she is beginning to understand that). The key to this entire episode is that I’ve come to realize it’s MY DUTY to keep her on track.

No doubt the clout of my fellow Kossacks forced Tauscher to immediately examine her claims about Gonzales’ un-impeachabilty and for that I greatly thank you. Tauscher seems willing to mend her Blue Dog ways (time will tell) and no doubt we (collectively) can pressure the rest of this misguided pack to join her in moving towards the base. Or they can start packing their bags.

Meteor Blades provided the list earlier today. If your Representative is on this list, you need to get up in their face!

Be sure to sign John Edwards’ petition. They plan to

…send one copy of the Constitution to Gonzales’ office for every person who signs our petition. If we reach our goal of 40,000 signatures, we will add all the names to the biggest copy of the Constitution you have ever seen – and send that to his office too!