Rep. Walter Jones Says President Obama Committed Impeachable Offense

President Obama - photo by US Embassy New Zealand

Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC) introduced a house resolution last week stating that President Obama committed an impeachable offense when he authorized military action without explicit approval from congress. Nevermind that Obama isn’t the first president to do so. Nevermind that President Bush redefined the powers of the executive branch, making it more in line with a dictatorship than a democracy.

The Raw Story – GOP Rep. introduces bill to trigger Obama’s impeachment

While not directly calling for impeachment, the bill would declare “that it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a president without prior and clear authorization of an act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war… and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.”

In other words, the bill would, in effect, serve as a trigger mechanism for impeachment proceedings.

I actually agree with congressman Jones to an extent. Obama has continued where Bush left off when it comes to foreign policy and use of military force, but unfortunately time and precedent will make for a hard sell to the rest of congress, particularly the Senate where Republicans are in a minority. I can also agree with Rep. Jones that we shouldn’t start wars unless the country is facing an imminent threat, but this looks to me like another attempt by a Republican to undermine President Obama.


photo by US Embassy New Zealand

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditPin on PinterestShare on TumblrDigg thisShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone


#congress#Executive Branch#House Resolution#impeacable#impeach#impeachment#military#North Carolina#President Obama#Republican#Walter Jones#war

  • Steve Schuler

    …and this is where The Daily Show cues up clips of Walter Jones supporting Bush’s invasion of Iraq and/or Afghanistan.  (Because of course, you can’t expect the “news” to show such hypocracy – they’re afraid of the truth making them appear too liberal!)  I have no idea if such clips exist, but if I had to bet, I would put money on the fact that they do and, like you said, this is a stunt meant more to remove Obama than to stop offensive action without declaring war.  That being said, I remain consistent in my stance that we should never take such offensive “preemptive” action, just as I have since 2001. And therefore I actually agree with this bill, but would remove the word “imminent.”  That’s where all the wiggle room lies.  War should never be the go-to answer.

    • I agree. Look at the current GOP field talking about war with Iran. It’s irresponsible at best.

      As for Jones, you guessed right, this is from Wikipedia…

      Jones was initially a strong supporter of the conflict in Iraq, but then became one of the leading Republicans opposed to continued involvement in Iraq. Jones became well known for leading the effort, along with GOP Rep. Bob Ney, to have french fries renamed “freedom fries” in House cafeteria menus as a protest against French opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Jones later modified his stance on the war to a considerable extent. In 2005, he stated that he had come to believe that there had been little reason to go to war, despite his earlier support, which had been based upon selective intelligence supplied to Congress. He said of his previous position on the fries, “I wish it had never happened.” In July 2006, the names were quietly changed back.

    • But in his defense (which I know doesn’t matter), he wasn’t exactly in the minority. 80-90% of the country is guilty of nonsense post 9/11. The people that are still guilty of it are delusional.

  • A lot of people seem to take this story and with very little understanding of the War Powers, just add a lot. At one site I read that according to the War Powers Act, an American president cannot initiate war unless there was “imminent” threat. ( Any similarity between that and  The War Powers Act is the word “imminent”) According to Politi-fact, candidate Obama said something like that as well. 

    I think that the most important misunderstanding about the War Powers Act is that its main purpose was to prevent a long drawn-out military engagement without a clear Congressional review. As we have seen in the Iraq fiasco, the legislation has been completely ineffective. The Libyan intervention in no way qualifies but a new engagement in say Iran or Syria probably would.

    In most cases, pre-Bush presidents tried to use some kind of pretext, such as the disco bombing in Berlin to launch an attack on Libya in Reagan’s day. I think there were two deaths of servicemen in Panama which gave him justification to invade Panama to launch a “police” action there. Of all the presidents, Obama seems to have made some attempt to adhere to the 1973 War Powers Act.

    As you know, I have looked into this impeachment bill to see what I could learn. Part 1 is an Obama defense and Part 2 is about how the War Powers Act says and how it has been routinely dismissed by nearly every president.

    • I agree with Jones in principle, we need to make it harder to go to war not easier and we also need to hold presidents (and other officials) accountable. But if you swapped Obama for Bush I wonder if he would have introduced the resolution?

      • YES! He did have eight years to grow a conscience. I am also curious how many of the former war mongers like McCain will support the resolution. Boehner is once again in a silly position too, having thrown his support behind Obama’s decision. 

        • Did McCain ever stop being a warmonger?
          Boehner is a monumental failure as a Speaker.