This morning on ABC’s This Week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) highlighted the new American Research Group poll showing that nearly half of Americans want the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush, and 54 percent favor impeachment hearings for Vice President Cheney.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Conyers today about new reports that the White House will refuse new congressional requests for documents about the U.S. Attorney firings.
Conyers decried the administration’s stonewalling, adding, “We’re hoping that as the cries for the removal of both Cheney and Bush now reach 46 percent and 58 percent [sic - 54 percent], respectively, for impeachment that we could begin to become a little bit more cooperative, if not amicable, in trying to get to the truth of these matters.” Watch it:
Stephanopoulos responded, “I’m surprised you put impeachment on the table there. Are you open to pursuing that?” Conyers said he was not putting it “on the table,” merely pointing out the views of the American people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of those individuals is the former White House deputy political director, Sara Taylor. Her lawyer wrote a letter yesterday saying that she wants to testify, but the White House won’t let her.
In that case, who would you hold in contempt, the individual or the White House? Her lawyers think she wants to testify.
CONYERS: Well, I certainly wouldn’t hold her in contempt. And we’re in negotiations with Mr. Fielding in the White House. We’re hoping that as the cries for the removal of both Cheney and Bush now reach 46 percent and 58 percent, respectively, for impeachment that we could begin to become a little bit more cooperative, if not amicable, in trying to get to the truth of these matters.
We have so much more work to do, George, as you know. And we keep getting stalled. They keep pressing us. We’re seeking cooperation. This is not partisan in any way whatsoever. I would have the same attitude if it were a Democratic president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman, we’re just about out of time. But I’m surprised you put impeachment on the table there. Are you open to pursuing that?
CONYERS: No, I didn’t put impeachment on the table. I was just telling you that 46 percent of the American people polled want Bush impeached, and 58 percent want Cheney impeached. I’m saying…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But not you?
CONYERS: They’re saying that we could — we could move — no, well, if I — if I wanted impeachment, I would probably be on your program next Sunday.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Well, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.