Former US Department of Justice attorney and Oregon Democratic activist Steve Novick went farther today than his senate campaign rivals by calling for immediate Congressional impeachment hearings to evaluate "evidence of wrongdoing" by America's homegrown axis of evil; George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Condaleeza Rice.
Novick who cut his teeth working in the Reagan administration bringing corporate polluters to justice is certainly no knee-jerk liberal. And it is clear from his address in front of the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse that he is approaching the impeachment issue with caution. Indeed, Novick freely admits that he has been hesitant.
"If an underdog Democratic candidate had been the first to raise the issue, I have no doubt that I would have been accused of partisanship and recklessness. Perhaps I should have done so in spite of that."
It is also Novick's instinct as an officer of the court (as an American, really) that even Bush, Cheney & Co. should be afforded the Constitutional guarantee of "innocent until proven guilty" despite their public admissions of wrongdoing, even as their corrupt administration tries to deny you an me these very rights.
"... because the Senate sits in judgment in an impeachment proceeding, and obviously, I believe the President and members of his Cabinet are entitled to present a defense before judgment is rendered."
Unrestrained by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer who both would prefer that a more establishment candidate take on Oregon Senator Gordon Smith in '08, Steve Novick takes direct aim at the Democratic leadership's excuses for dithering on impeachment (and in his address, Novick doesn't shy away from this I-word).
"It would be divisive. It would distract Congress and the country from other business. Both true. But I believe that it would set a very dangerous precedent to say that we will simply overlook the possibility that a President violated the Constitution, or misled a nation into war, because we are concerned about division and distraction. Regardless of the outcome, if we are ever to expect honesty and accountability from another American president, we cannot ignore evidence of dishonesty and illegal activity in the current Administration."Not content with mere slogans and generalities, Novick lays out an irrefutable case for launching impeachment hearings in the House. Certainly, a lot of legalese was articulated. This is a man after all who has spent most of his adult life putting the "law" into "lawyer." With some of Oregon's congressional delegation finally taking baby steps towards bringing Bush to justice, Steve Novick has taken the lead in a fight that may very well take him all the way to Washington DC. Maybe it's time the Halls of Congress got a wakeup call (if not a backbone) from this man from Justice. There's no doubt the people of Oregon are sitting up and taking note.