Cheney ouster gains backers

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Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat and a 2008 presidential hopeful, has picked up Democratic support for a resolution calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Mr. Kucinich’s impeachment resolution now is co-sponsored by seven House Democrats. When he introduced the proposal in April, he had no co-sponsors.

“The articles of impeachment that I introduced against the vice president represented a response to the concerns of millions of Americans who have felt that the vice president must be accountable for his false statements,” Mr. Kucinich said at a Capitol Hill press conference yesterday.

“He openly lied to the American people and has publicly threatened aggression against Iran,” he said. “I believe … we will see more and more members of Congress signing on in this effort to save our Constitution and protect the very values that bind us as a nation.”

The seven co-sponsors are: Reps. Maxine Waters of California, chairman of the Out of Iraq Caucus; Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, both of California and co-chairmen of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Jan Schakowsky of Illinois; Yvette D. Clarke of New York; William Lacy Clay of Missouri; and Albert R. Wynn of Maryland.

“Vice President Dick Cheney is the architect of the administration’s deception about the war,” Mr. Wynn said. “Cheney persistently and deliberately deceived the Congress and the American people about the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the alleged link between Saddam Hussein and the attack on September 11th.”

In addition, 15 state Democratic parties have passed resolutions calling for impeachment, as have 77 cities and several labor organizations. Eleven state legislatures have introduced similar legislation, according to www.afterdowningstreet.org, which supports impeaching Mr. Cheney.

Cheney spokeswoman Megan McGinn dismissed the efforts, saying, “The vice president is focused on the serious issues facing the country.”

Sources inside the vice president’s office say he was in meetings during Mr. Kucinich’s press conference.

Most polls show Mr. Cheney’s approval rating hovering in the low 30s, below those of President Bush. A Harris Poll released in April showed Mr. Cheney with a 25 percent approval rating.

Still, some prominent liberal Democrats, including Reps. Ellen O. Tauscher and Henry A. Waxman of California, have said they will not support the resolution.

Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat and Judiciary Committee chairman, last year said he wanted to open an impeachment investigation, but his office declined to comment on Mr. Kucinich’s resolution.

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