Today, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) gave more detail on his resolution to begin an impeachment inquiry into the Attorney General (see the resolution here
The resolution would require the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether the Attorney General committed high crimes or misdemeanors. Inslee explained during a press conference today: "we are pursuing an investigation prior to filing for the actual articles of impeachmentâ¦ frankly, it affords the Attorney General due process, something he did not afford his [U.S. attorneys] when they were fired." Specifically, the investigation will focus on the firing of U.S. Attorneys, the abuse of FISA courts and subsequent covering up of those abuses, and the perjury allegations from his Congressional testimonies.
Here's how it would work. The first battle, of course, would be convincing the House leadership to bring the resolution to a vote. Then the resolution would be voted on by the entire House. If approved by a majority, the House Judiciary Committee would then investigate whether impeachment would be appropriate. That committee would then report its findings to the House, which would vote on whether to approve articles of impeachment. Then, if the vote succeeds, the case heads over to the Senate for trial.
Thus far, Inslee has fourteen co-sponsors. Notably, the first six to support the resolution are former prosecutors, including two state Attorney Generals (Ben Chandler and Tom Udall) and a former judge (Hank Johnson). However, what the resolution is lacking at this time is the support of Rep. Conyers (D-MI), the head of the House Judiciary Committee, or the support of other members of the House leadership. (Hank Johnson and Steve Cohen are the only committee members listed as a cosponsors.) Technically, the support of the judiciary committee isnât required to submit the resolution. However, it certainly seems important to have the blessing of the man who has been and would be the point man for the Houseâs investigations.
Inslee intends to submit the resolution after the August holiday; he says he is banking on public dissatisfaction with Gonzales to help drive other lawmakers to support him. And while the resolution might seem like a roundabout way to run an investigation, if the White House continues to stonewall other avenues of investigations Inslee just might find himself with a few more willing backers.
Note: Initially, Rep. Udall was falsely identified as as a former U.S. Attorney, rather than as an Attorney General.