Impeachment effort may shift to House if stalled in Legislature

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(Host) If the Vermont Legislature won’t pass a resolution calling on Congress to impeach President Bush, then Vermonters should petition Congressman Peter Welch to initiate impeachment hearings in Washington.

That’s the opinion of Dan DeWalt, one of the organizers of the Town Meeting Day resolutions to impeach the president.

An impeachment resolution has been introduced in the Vermont House with 20 sponsors but House Speaker Gaye Symington says it’s unlikely she’ll bring the proposal to the floor for a vote.

Symington says she’s concerned that focusing on impeachment will distract the House from dealing with other more critical issues facing the state.

Speaking last night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Dan DeWalt says his efforts will shift to the U.S. House if the Vermont Legislature fails to take action on this issue:

(DeWalt) “If the Legislature does not do it well we’ll go back to the original target, which is the only Vermonters who has the capacity to file an article of impeachment which is Peter Welch. He’s definitely expressed that he doesn’t think that that’s the route he wants to go. He wants to follow Nancy Pelosi’s reasoning and leadership.”

(Host) Rob Roper is the chairman of the Vermont Republican Party. He says it’s in appropriate to discuss impeachment at a time when the country is at war:

(Ropert) “I think it’s counter productive. I wish I knew who said the quote. But you can’t fight a war and debate a war at the same time, and having the president be called to task to be impeached certainly undermines his credibility as he deals with foreign nations. And it undermines the morale of the troops as well as they’re trying to fight this war under their commander in chief.”

(Host) Congressman Welch says he doesn’t support impeachment at this time because he believes the major focus of Congress should be on ending the war in Iraq.

Welch says Congress should hold oversight hearings on the reasons why the United States went to war and then evaluate the evidence that’s uncovered at the hearings.

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