Monday, September 10, 2007

Blumenauer Clarifies Stance

In his first interview since putting impeachment back on the table, Rep. Earl Blumenauer speaks with KPOJ's morning host, Carl Wolfson.

Carl: Congressman, impeachment has been been a huge, volatile issue here especially in Portland and around the country. I want to read a couple paragraphs of a statement you put out.

As I talk with people throughout my district and Oregon, the issue of accountability and peace is very much on people’s minds. I believe that Congress must hold the Bush Administration accountable for its actions and that impeachment should be among the options for accountability. ... I believe that investigations into the range of crimes and abuses must be the first step. ... These investigations are making significant impacts. ... Impeachment may not be ripe, either procedurally or politically, now but that does not mean that it won’t be in the future. Congress cannot let this administration off the hook or give them a “Get out of Jail Free” card by taking impeachment off the table.
Is that a little bit different than your position before? ...

Earl Blumenauer: Part of what concerned me in the conversations... The accountability of this administration is something that is on virtually everybody's mind, that I talked to this summer. And one of the things that concerned me was the notion that it wasn't quote "on the table" at this moment. Somebody at some point said the phrase quote "off the table"* - I wanted to clarify it because it's not, and I'm very serious about this notion of a "get out of jail free card." It's not in my viewpoint that the check and balance, having the accountability that these tools represent, should be abandoned and forgotten.

We're doing work that's been going on now since the Democrats regained control, very aggressive oversight hearings. Henry Waxman has been orchestrating a number of very important investigations. We've got some people where the heat is on. We've got a number of these people who have been prosecuted. I sincerely believe that if it hadn't been for this pressure, we'd still have Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales in positions of power.

And depending on where this goes or what else the administration does, certainly there can be circumstances where it makes sense to proceed with impeachment. My concern has been that rushing with the articles, making that the soul focus, was not ripe. I see no indication that the Republicans in the Senate are eager to move Nancy Pelosi closer to the Presidency. But it's important to be clear that circumstances as this goes forward, they will be held accountable and this is one tool.
[*Editor's note: Odd that my representative wouldn't know where the notion of impeachment being "off the table" came from?]

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told her caucus members during their weekly closed meeting Wednesday "that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it," spokesman Brendan Daly said. [Friday, May 12, 2006]

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