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.
H. RES. 922
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 6, 2018
Mr. Jones (for himself and Ms. Gabbard) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
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;
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Resolution shall take effect upon passage by the House of Representatives.