Impeach the President for War-Making: Support H. Res. 922

Update: You can quickly and easily send a letter asking your representative in the House to support H. Res 922 by visiting The Action Network. Please do so, it will help.

Impeaching the President for starting wars without the consent of Congress is the central tenet of House Resolution 922, which is co-sponsored by Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Walter Jones (R-NC).

I am very privileged to help introduce H. Res. 922 this Wednesday, July 18, along with Representatives Gabbard and Jones, and constitutional law expert Bruce Fein, at the US Capitol (11am, House Triangle). H. Res. 922 defines presidential wars not declared by Congress, to includes wars of co-belligerancy, such as the United States role in the atrocities in Yemen, as impeachable offenses.

H. Res. 922 provides a framework for the House of Representatives to assert its duty and responsibility in US war-making, as obligated by the US Constitution, by providing definitions and context to Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution (the declare war clause), as well as labeling presidential indifference to, neglect of and subversion against Congress’ role, and by extension the public’s will, in war-making “a high crime and misdemeanor”. This latter purpose of H. Res. 922 provides the justification for impeachment of a president for war-making, which, regardless of political party, has proven to be a constant, murderous and unchecked facet of our imperial presidents.

Will H. Res. 922 directly end war? No. However, it is an extremely valuable and non-partisan effort to put a check on current imperial presidential powers and to demonstrate a desire for accountability for the daily and unending madness and cruelty of US wars. H. Res. 922 should be viewed as part of a larger and broader campaign to end the wars we wage both abroad and at home (and if you don’t understand how the wars overseas are directly tied into the wars here at home, then please read how the US military is prepared to jail 20,000 children on US soil). Such a campaign necessarily requires legislative and political efforts, but must also include direct action, resistance, education and alternatives to the yearly one trillion dollar military-industrial complex.

Whatever assistance you and your organizations can provide in support of this resolution will be extremely helpful. Please share widely this announcement with your friends, family, organizations, networks, readers, listeners, followers, etc, and please also directly contact your representatives in the House and ask them to co-sponsor H. Res. 922.

All press are welcome on Wednesday and press inquiries can be directed to Allison Tucker in Congressman Jone’s office (202-225-3415) and Lauren McIlvaine in Congresswoman Gabbard’s office (202-225-4906). I have pasted below the text of the resolution.

Wage Peace.

115th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 922

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 6, 2018

(for himself and Ms. Gabbard) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

RESOLUTION

Defining presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause) as impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors within the meaning of Article II, section 4 of the Constitution and defining the meanings of war and cobelligerency for purposes of the Declare War Clause and Impeachment provisions.

Whereas presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, section 8, clause 11 are the most flagrant and dangerous of presidential usurpations;

Whereas President George Washington, who had presided over the Constitutional Convention and supported the Declare War Clause, elaborated during his service in office: The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress; therefore, no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated on the subject and authorized such a measure.;

Whereas presidential wars saddle the people with multi-trillion dollar indebtedness, diverts national genius from production to destruction, cripples liberty, silences the law, awakens enemies, and provokes blowback in the United States;

Whereas the absence of impeachment standards creates an appearance that impeachment is a partisan exercise, which undermines its legitimacy and deters its use;

Whereas the absence of definitions of war and co-belligerency for purposes of the Declare War Clause undermines its enforcement through the impeachment process or otherwise;

Whereas the law should warn before it strikes;

Whereas Article I, section 2, clause 5 provides that, The House of Representatives … shall have the sole Power of Impeachment;

Whereas the impeachment power of the House of Representatives is a cornerstone safeguard against Presidential tyranny;

Whereas the past neglect of the House of Representatives to use the impeachment power against Presidential usurpations and lawlessness has concentrated alarming power in the executive branch, crippled liberty, undermined transparency, and encouraged Presidents to further aggrandizements;

Whereas Article II, section 4 of the Constitution provides that, The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors;

Whereas the Constitutional Convention rejected neglect of duty or maladministration as impeachment standards in favor of high crimes and misdemeanors because the former terms were too broad;

Whereas impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors has an objective meaning based on the intent of the Constitution’s framers and British impeachment precedents;

Whereas Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65 explained that impeachable offenses proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself;

Whereas the House of Representatives has voted articles of impeachment against two Presidents, one Cabinet officer, one Senator, one Supreme Court Justice, and 14 Federal judges without providing a general standard for defining an impeachable offense; and

Whereas every participant in the drafting, debating, and ratifying of the Constitution understood that the Declare War Clause prohibited presidential wars and entrusted exclusively to Congress the solemn responsibility for deciding whether the Nation should cross the Rubicon from a state of peace to a state of war: Now, therefore, be it

1.

Defining Presidential wars as impeachable offenses

The House of Representatives declares the following Presidential actions shall constitute impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors within the meaning of Article II, section 4, which will cause the House to vote an article or articles of impeachment to send to the Senate for trial:

  • Initiating wars against state or non-state actors without prior congressional declarations under Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause) by which Congress itself decides to take the United States from a condition of peace to a condition of war against an identified enemy.
2.

Defining presidential wars

Nothing in this resolution shall be interpreted to prohibit the President from responding with proportionate military force in the exercise of national self-defense to actual or imminent aggression or a declaration of war against the United States.

3.

Co-belligerncy

This resolution shall be interpreted to prohibit the President from making the United States a co-belligerent in an ongoing war without a congressional declaration under the Declare War Clause. For purposes of this section, the United States becomes a co-belligerent if it systematically or substantially supplies war materials, military troops, trainers, or advisers, military intelligence, financial support or their equivalent in association, cooperation, assistance, or common cause with another belligerent.

4.

Non-exclusivity

This Resolution shall not be interpreted to preclude the House of Representatives from concluding that other presidential actions constitute impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors within the meaning of Article II, section 4 either by supplemental resolutions or by ad hoc determinations.

5.

Effective date

This Resolution shall take effect upon passage by the House of Representatives.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Impeach the President for War-Making: Support H. Res. 922

  1. I was never asked to vote on Empire, or vastly increasing Executive Power, and it’s war declaration power.
    Therefore, this governmental direction is w/o Democratic approval and consent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too late! If you had had the guts to go for this when Obama was in office, I’d have been all for it. However this seems to me to be another attempt from the powers that be to drive Trump from office. He is the only president in the last 40 years who appears to want to bring American forces home and to end the never ending imperial wars of his predecessors (see North Korea, Russia, Syria and now direct negotiations with the Taliban). And if you people think you’re going to be better off without Trump, just remember that Pence is second in command. He would make Trump look like a choirboy.

    Like

    • If you watch the news conference Ted, you would know that this is not about Trump. You would know that people like myself, Paul, Bruce, Mike, Tulsi Gabbard and Walter Jones have been against these wars for a long time and were as vocal when Obama was in office as now that Trump is in office.You would also know, if you had done your due diligence before posting, that this resolution would not take affect until 2020, so that it is clearly a bipartisan measureAs it would not affect the current president, but the president that wins in 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I agree completely with you Ted about Pence. He scares me more than Trump. Peace brother, be well. Please realize that not all people are as beholden to partisan decision making as so many unfortunately are and that some of us actually do have principles we follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Also you maintain this:

        “You would also know, if you had done your due diligence before posting, that this resolution would not take affect until 2020, so that it is clearly a bipartisan measure as it would not affect the current president, but the president that wins in 2020.”

        How do you reconcile that with this:

        “5.

        Effective date

        This Resolution shall take effect upon passage by the House of Representatives.”?

        Like

      • I guess you didn’t watch the press conference. Both Bruce Fein and Walter Jones, Republicans, addresses this point. They both said the resolution would be altered to have it take effect in 2020 to avoid concerns over partisanship.

        The resolution isn’t capped by time either, so it effects future presidents equally.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If I have (as Buba would say) “misunderstood” your motivation, I apologize. I’m so sick of the Democratic Party and their righteous hypocrisy. However, this also gives me pause:
    2.

    Defining presidential wars

    Nothing in this resolution shall be interpreted to prohibit the President from responding with proportionate military force in the exercise of national self-defense to actual or imminent aggression or a declaration of war against the United States.

    That seems to me to be a giant loophole which every future president will make good (bad!) use of.

    Like

    • Why do you view everything and everyone with such a partisan lens? Only one of the five speakers was a Democrat and that was Tulsi Gabbard who is famously on the outs from her own party after she very publicly resigned from her position with the DNC in 2016 after the emails surfaced showing how the democratic primaries were rigged.

      That shouldn’t give you pause. If a president falsely claims the need for self defense, such as in Iraq or Vietnam, than they are impeached. Where is the loophole in that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t everything and everyone with a partisan lens, but rather with a sceptical lens. I just don’t have much trust in anyone in the U.S. anymore.

        As to your second point, the history of the U.S. is full of false claims that are not challenged, form the battleship Maine, to the Gulf of Tonkin to the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to the fake poison gas attacks supposedly carried out by Assad, etc, etc. Why should this change?

        I have read some very good articles by you here and also, I believe, in Counterpunch, but I just don’t believe this resolution will work.

        Liked by 1 person

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