THE PEOPLE V. RICHARD CHENEY

Only two conditions must be met. First, a majority of the House of Representatives must agree on a set of charges; then, two-thirds of the Senate must agree to convict. After that, there is no legal wrangling, no appeal to a higher authority, no reversal on technical grounds. There is not even a limit on what the charges may be. As the Constitution describes it, the cause may be “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors,” but even these were left deliberately vague; as Gerald Ford once pointed out while still serving in the House of Representatives, the only real definition of an “impeachable offense” is “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”

Over the past six years, as the country has spiraled into military misadventure, fiscal madness, and environmental meltdown, the vice president has not merely been wrong about the issues; he has been duplicitous, deceitful, and deliberately destructive to the American democracy. These things can no longer be denied by rational minds:


That in the buildup to war in Iraq, the vice president, lacking confidence in the true casus belli, conspired to invent additional ones, misrepresenting the available intelligence, crafting new “intelligence,” and then spreading these falsehoods to the public, perverting the democratic process that he is sworn to uphold.

That as the war devolved into occupation, the vice president again sabotaged the democratic system, developing back channels into the Coalition Provisional Authority, a body not under his purview, to remove some of the most effective staff and replace them with his own loyal supplicants—undercutting America’s best effort at war in order to expand his own power.

That in his domestic capacity, the vice president has been equally reckless with the trust of his office, converting the vice presidency into a de facto prime ministership, conducting secret meetings with secret policy boards to determine national policy and then refusing to share the details of those meetings with the other branches of government.

Finally, that the vice president has repeatedly promoted the interests of a corporation, Halliburton, over the interests of the nation, causing untold harm to American economic, military, and public health.

For these and other offenses against the nation, Vice President Cheney, clearly, is guilty of crimes against the state.

Herewith, in the absence of action for the past six years by a timid Republican Congress and a refusal to act by the new Democratic leadership, we, the Fourth Estate, take the mantle of indictment unto ourselves and present these Articles of Impeachment, to be adopted by the United States House of Representatives and voted upon by the United States Senate, at their earliest possible leisure:

Resolved That Richard B. Cheney, vice president of the United States, be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors; that the evidence hereinafter set out sustains six articles of impeachment justifying immediate removal from office; that said articles shall be adopted by the House of Representatives; and that the same shall be endorsed by the Senate, to wit

[GQ.com]

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