Request for More Information and Verification: Pelosi, Conyers and Impeachment

OK, folks, I need some help here — a potentially major item requiring immediate investigation has come to light. From this comment in my recent diary over on DailyKos, dove12348 relates a particularly chilling tidbit:

Unfortunately there are things that…
…can’t be tracked.

http://slate.com/…

Pelosi has threatened the removal of Michigan Rep. John Conyers from his chairmanship of the House judiciary committee if an impeachment inquiry were even opened, according to reliable congressional chatter.

OK, folks — who can help pull together some additional detail around this?

Please post what you can find here, or — preferably, to keep it all in one place, post it here and over here on ePluribus Media, where I’ll be trying to coordinate more information on this.

Here’s the question I want to try and answer: The article from Slate is from August 21, so how does the current state of affairs affect any potential investigation by Conyers?

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  1. …as to what threats she has used.

    But I think (unsurprisingly) that he needs to call her bluff.

    Think of the howls if she removes him.

  2. independently commence Impeachment hearings and, of course, he is in control of the House Judiciary Committee.  I think he has been trying to honor Nancy Pelosi’s request to keep “Impeachment off the table,” but as I think it over, it may be that he will receive enough pressure from peers, such as Hon. Rep. Wexler, and others, that he will be pushed into doing it, while the onus would be on others and not him, per se.  Just a thought!

    • Valtin on November 12, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    From a long Raw Story piece back on Aug. 30:

    Rep. John Conyers declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not stop him from beginning impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee against a ‘long list of people’in the Bush administration, although he did not make a firm commitment to begin proceedings.

    “Nancy Pelosi has impeachment ‘off the table,’ but that’s off her table, it is not off John Conyers’ table,” the Michigan Democrat said during a town hall meeting in his district Tuesday. “Nancy Pelosi, who I actually supported, cannot prevent me from introducing an impeachment resolution against, well I’ve got a long list of people who are eligible.”

    Conyers did not announce plans to begin impeachment proceedings, which he has previously said would be politically untenable. Rather, his speech seemed to indicate that pro-impeachment activists did not yet convince him that Bush and Cheney deserved to be booted from office. A Conyers spokesman did not immediately respond to RAW STORY’s request for clarification of the congressman’s comments.

    “I want you to know that I have no reticence, no reluctance, no hesitation to use the tool of impeachment … whenever I feel that it is appropriate,” Conyers said. “I only wish that I could be moved by a lot of people coming to my office.”

    One activist who helped organize hundreds of protesters who traveled to Washington to push Conyers to begin impeachment remains unconvinced that the congressman will actually take action.

    “I think John Conyers … is saying, ‘I’m not going to do what my constituency wants, I’m going to do what the Democratic leadership wants,'” Tina M. Richards, CEO of Grassroots America, told RAW STORY Wednesday.

    Although she acknowledged Conyers “adamantly wants to impeach,” Richards said he is being precluded from doing so by Pelosi and other top House Democrats. Hundreds of impeachment activists are expected to descend on Pelosi’s office next month to pressure the House Speaker to allow impeachment proceedings.

    The 21-term congressman, who took control of the Judiciary Committee this year, boasted that he was the first to introduce a resolution calling for Richard Nixon’s impeachment.

    Conyers mentioned frequent visits by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who recently led hundreds of protesters to urge him to begin impeachment proceedings. He told the activists he would not begin impeachment hearings because there is not enough support among Democrats, who control the House, for the move.

    “I understand the politics of impeachment,” Conyers said. “But we have something going on now that we’ve never had before.”

    A more recent article can be found at OpEd News, by Jennifer Umolac of ImpeachForPeace.org. Her group had a meeting with Conyers on October 23.

    Unlike during his visit to Minneapolis, Rep. Conyers did not mention the matter of “time” as one of the factors against bringing forward H. Res 333. His most prominent rationale for not bringing forward the resolution was that he felt there wouldn’t be support for the measure and subsequently that it wouldn’t go anywhere. He spoke about all of the freshman Congresspeople who were elected in Red States and how they were unlikely to come out in favor of impeachment. He then stated that if he weren’t in his position, he would be “one of you…lobbying for impeachment.” I implored him to be one of us IN his position and to lobby his fellow Representatives in support of H. Res 333.

    I also mentioned to him that I had a conversation with a Minnesota Representative, Tim Walz, who was in exactly that position, representing a traditionally conservative area that had narrowly elected him. In our conversation on impeachment, Rep. Walz had stated that though he wouldn’t sign on to H. Res 333, he would support articles of impeachment should they come to the floor. I suggested that this might be a far more widespread stance than he would expect.

    Representative Conyers then discussed some of the on-going investigations and mentioned that the Judiciary Committee was going to go forward with Contempt of Congress charges against Harriet Myers, and that the best way to hold this Administration was by continuing with the investigations.

    At this point in our meeting we were joined by Congressman Keith Ellison, who represents the 5th District of Minneapolis, home to ImpeachforPeace.org. Congressman Ellison is a co-sponsor of H.Res 333. There was much discussion of the discontent with Congress and the perception of many that this Congress has done nothing to hold the Administration accountable for the many abuses of power that have occurred.

    When I expressed dismay with Speaker Pelosi’s leadership and asserted that, in my opinion, she had castrated the Democratic party by taking impeachment off the table, Congressman Conyers said “well, maybe we should get new leadership.” As we were leaving the meeting room, on our way to a filming for BET, we were again discussing bringing forward H Res 333 and the Congressman turned to me and said, “I really want you to convince me to do this.”

    When we arrived at the location for the filming, Rep. Maxine Waters was coming out of the room and Mr. Conyers stopped her and introduced me to her saying “This is Jennifer and she’s here to lobby me on impeachment.” To which Rep. Waters instantly replied, “it’s never going to happen.” She then said, “I wish I could tell you something that would give you some hope, but I can’t.” I said to her, “Then maybe I can say something that will give you some hope,” and launched into a quick lobbying effort. I asked Rep. Waters if I could walk with her to her office, and we subsequently spent the next 5 minutes debating the “practicalities” of impeachment. (How impractical to defend the Constitution!) She seemed most moved by the argument that the Democrats are in danger of blowing the 2008 elections if decisive actions aren’t taken to show the electorate that the Democratic party is interested in change.

    Upon returning to the filming for the BET segment, I had the good fortune to catch Rep. Conyers as he sung the praises of heroes such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who led movements that brought about social change that at the onset seemed impossible. Leaving the room, I mentioned to him how glad I was to hear him honor those leaders who had stood up for what was right, despite the odds, and urged him to be that same kind of leader for his country and bring forward the articles of impeachment.

  3. I don’t know how many people recall the reports regarding the House Ethics Committee probe of Conyers just prior to the 2006 elections: Conyers Accepts Responsibility (Jan. 07)

    “Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) has ‘accepted responsibility’ for possibly violating House rules by requiring his official staff to perform campaign-related work, according to a statement quietly released by the House ethics committee late Friday evening.

    “The top Republican and Democratic members on the ethics panel, Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), said in a statement that Conyers acknowledged a ‘lack of clarity in communicating what was expected of his official staff and that he accepted responsibility for his actions.

    “‘[Conyers] agreed to take a number of additional, significant steps to ensure that his office complies with all rules and standards regarding campaign and personal work by congressional staff,’ they stated.

    ‘We have concluded that this matter should be resolved through the issuance of this public statement.'” (The Hill)

    Of course, it’s only speculation on my part & I could be wrong, but IMHO–the sequence of events:  The ethics probe being resolved without significant “punishment” of Conyers and the subsequent appointment by Pelosi of Conyers to be Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee could have involved some “back room negotiations–and some conditions imposed by Pelosi”.  A sort of “Sword of Damocles” Pelosi has left hanging over Conyers’ head.

    BTW, clicking the link to the original report about the Ethics Probe result in “The Hill” returns a “The Page You Are Trying to Reach Was Not Found” message.  

  4. a internal Democratic power struggle/rebellion going on in the club house. That would be nice at least we wouldn’t just be howling in the wilderness with no one listening and it would help me stem mt paranoia about the whole lot of them being in on the fix. Still until I see some action shaking, on a level other then rumor… Although Waxman’s statement helped..Say where’s my habeas corpus? I truly hope this is not just another shine on.    

    • snud on November 12, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    What. The. Fuck. Who do Harry and Nancy work for anyway?

    There was a while when I thought… Well maybe they have some underlying strategy or motivation for taking “impeachment off the table” and a (very) tiny part of me was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt… for a while.

    Then I read this over at Kos (which references a Huffpo article I’ve not yet read) http://www.dailykos.com/story/… that sez:

    Pelosi and Reid are just about to do the stupidest thing imaginable: pull the rug out from underneath the blossoming renewable energy economy at the time when we need it most… As Adam Browning of Vote Solar put it “Thursday morning, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi decided to drop the renewable energy standard out of the energy bill and drop the tax title. No tax title means no extension of the investment tax credit for solar, and no extention of the production tax credit for wind.  Let’s see…nothing for solar, plus nothing for wind, hmmm, add no renewable energy standard, carry the zero…yep, that adds up to precisely nothing for renewable energy.

    *Got that? Congressional (Democratic) leadership is moving an energy bill with nothing in it for renewable energy.*

    (Emphasis mine)

    Seriously. Are they *republicans*? ‘Cause it’s getting impossible to tell ’em apart!

    This is getting incredibly demoralizing. Next to ending this fucked-up war and bringing the two Uber Douches in the Whitehouse to justice, can someone tell me what’s more important than our country finding energy independence?

  5. and I can report back that

    (1) All those that question why Pelosi is not a Repub….should really be asking how the Dems got dupped into ever believing one word out of her mouth….but you already know all of this. Including her 100 million a yesr income – that’s a lot.

    (2) If there exists an underlying deal between her and Conyers I could not fund anything to substantiate it. It looks to me that he bought into her BS a long time ago and is not going to change where he feels comfy at this point. Plus she has gotten too many earmarks into the Congressional Black Caucus and even if no one has respect for the caucus but him, he will not turn his back on something that big to him.

    (3) I did find one peculiar thing that I do not know what to make of. Here goes:

    Pelosi’s husband (and she) own considerable commercial property in the Presidio District. In 97 she successfully got this National Park and old Army barracks officially priviatized (thanks to Bill) with Government money and a yearly funding plan that ends in 2013. Smart deal. Even though she still maintains “this was and is great for San Francisco” it is a touchy subject because in order to proceed with development, all of the lower income mostly black families living there were forced out.

    What is very clear is that she and hubby directly benefit from getting large (somewhere in the 100-300 hundred thousand dollars) in annual rental income from the space. I suspect its far greater given that property values there have skyrocketed into the mega millions. The bill was called The Presidio Trust Act

    Along the way she helped despised Repub. GAP owner and her close friend, Ronald Fisher get over 100,000 square feet to hold his art collection in the Presidio area in the form of a new museum to himself. Feinstein’s husband is in this deal as well.

    I know I am scratching my head wonderng how the Dem party did not see this coming when everyone in San Fran did.

    (4)Lastly as far as ethics go, she has zero. She got her own Presidio Trust earmark of 2.5 million into the defense appropriations bill for the building of a parade staging area. Flake tried to have it cut out. This last sentence will have you leaving for the nearest barf bag.

    The amendment was brought to the floor and killed. All but one Dem voted NAY showing the Dems can indeed vote as a block.

    She must be a witch.

  6. but I think the players are stuck in ways you will not read about in the MSM, Greyhawk.  Following is just a single example of the way in which things get stuck backstage:

    Sex and corrupt politics in DC is nothing new. For example, during the Civil War there were 450 brothels in the capital. Part of the mythology of Washington, however, is what might be called the Jim Lehrer Illusion, which is to say that all people in DC do is sit around and rationally debate policy alternatives. In fact, Washington politics is also heavily driven by cowardice, bribery, blackmail, deceit, fear, loyalty to old buddies and even older bodies, cooptation, sex, and just plain crime. Journalists who pretend otherwise either don’t understand what is going on or are covering for someone.

    The public often misunderstands the importance of Washington scandals, assuming them to be a simple dalliance, individual failing, or private offense. What makes both sex and crime in DC different, at least when those in power are involved, is that there is far more opportunity for blackmail and far more skill at covering things up.

    The blackmail may be used by members of one branch of government against those of another, by lobbyists against members of Congress, by the police against whomever they wish, and by foreign powers. For example, one way to keep a congress member bought is for a lobbyist to provide him with high class prostitutes. And it is noteworthy that both the Israelis and Boris Yeltsin apparently knew about Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky before the American public did.  *

    Just one more thing.  The way there was no investigation after the attacks on NY and Washington – ever wonder how that could come to pass?  No manual examination of the material destruction, ever, period?  But instead just sending the steel to China immediately to smelt it down?  Do you think China is stupid enough to just destroy possibly damning information like that?  Would it not be infinitely more valuable to them as the stuff of blackmail?  Ever wonder why China is buying out the US at the rate they are?  Maybe sending a postcard to those in power every so often, reminding them that they haven’t destroyed some inconvenient evidence yet?

    We are very foolish, IMO, if we forget all that is happening off the scenes.  You probably won’t take my word for it either, why should you even, but I think most of what we read is a vast “disinformation” effort compared with the actual truth of things.  And of one thing I’m convinced:  many people in Washington are making illicit profits in ways too numerous to list on a single day on a blog anywhere.

    The trouble with a lot of us is that we are, through habit, trained to take everything at face value because we are basically principled good people.  When people are as – sorry – sold out to the devil as the 2 party sockpuppet to the exec known as Congress are, they don’t shoot from the hip anymore.  They can’t.  Probably every last one of them is deeply into the bribery picture, but I don’t know just how.  

    The reason I never believe even a single one of them about anything is that they will not tell us the truth – that they have bankrupted the US and sold everything off to foreign powers.  The day one of them comes clean about that is the day I might accept a single word from them at something besides dissembling and distraction.

  7. is that old “nasty letter” trick…  gee, what a lovely young daughter you have, what a shame it would be if anything happened to her.”

    This is slightly OT but following are the details of one example of the same:

    George de Mohrenschildt (April 17 (Gregorian calendar), 1911-March 29, 1977) befriended Lee Harvey Oswald during the months preceding the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

    De Mohrenschildt met Lee Harvey Oswald in October 1962 in Fort Worth, Texas. George and Jeanne befriended Lee and Marina Oswald, trying to help them as best they could along with introducing them into Dallas’ Russian community. In May, 1963, de Mohrenschildt moved to Haiti. After Kennedy was assassinated, he testified before the Warren Commission.

    Young George traveled around Europe and later claimed he was part of a pro-Nazi plot to kill Joseph Stalin. When de Mohrenschildt came to the United States in 1938, British intelligence reportedly notified the U.S. government they suspected he was working for German intelligence and by some accounts he was under FBI surveillance for a time. At first, de Mohrenschildt worked for the Shumaker company in New York City, purportedly under Pierre Fraiss, who had connections with French intelligence and according to de Mohrenschildt (see his Warren Hearing testimony) was engaged in gathering information about people engaged in “pro-German” activities, such as Nazi bidding for U.S. oil leases before the U.S. became involved in the war. In his testimony, de Mohrenschildt makes it clear that his data-collection was anti-Nazi activity, since it was aimed at helping the French, by out-bidding the Germans. By 1939, he was working for Humble Oil, the company of Prescott Bush.

    It was here de Mohrenschildt met George H. W. Bush. Bush has recalled, “I first met de Mohrenschildt in the early 1940’s. He was an uncle to my Andover roommate.”

    George Bush’s name and Midland, Texas address were in de Mohrenschildt’s address book. The following entry was found in the address book of George de Mohrenschildt: “Bush, George H.W. (Poppy) 1412 W. Ohio also Zapata Petroleum Midland 46355.”

    As a result of these connections, and documents released January 2007 that showed Bush’s Zapata Oil was involved with the CIA, several authors and Internet bloggers have theorized Bush was somehow involved in the Kennedy assassination. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K

    Edward Jay Epstein, an author who interviewed de Mohrenschildt shortly before his death, wrote the following diary entry (29th March, 1977):

    “David Bludworth, The State’s Attorney, was a folksy, charming and savvy interrogator. He began by telling me that De Mohrenschildt had put a shotgun in his mouth and killed himself at 3:45 p.m. There were no witnesses – and no one home at the time of the shooting. The precise time of his death was established by a tape-recorder, left running that afternoon to record the soap operas for the absent Mrs. Tilton, and which recorded a single set of footfalls in the room and the blast of the shotgun, which was found on the Persian carpet next to him. No suicide note or other clue was found. He said I was probably the last person to talk to him. Then, he asked whether I had in my possession De Mohrenschildt’s black address book. I replied “No.” He politely rephrased the question, and asked me again – about a half-dozen times, whether I had the black book.”

    On September 17, 1976, the CIA requested that the FBI locate de Mohrenschildt, because he had “attempted to get in touch with the CIA Director.” [CIA Message Reference Number 915341] De Mohrenschildt had “written a letter to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency asking for his assistance. It seems that Subject feels he is being harassed as a result of his involvement with the OSWALD case.” [CIA MFR Raymond M. Reardon SAG 9.20.76] George Bush wrote back:

    “Let me say first that I know it must have been difficult for you to seek my help in the situation outlined in your letter. I believe I can appreciate your state of mind in view of your daughter’s tragic death a few years ago, and the current poor state of your wife’s health. I was extremely sorry to hear of these circumstances. In your situation I can well imagine how the attentions you described in your letter affect both you and your wife. However, my staff has been unable to find any indication of interest in your activities on the part of Federal authorities in recent years. The flurry of interest that attended your testimony before the Warren Commission has long subsided. I can only speculate that you may have become ‘newsworthy’ again in view of the renewed interest in the Kennedy assassination, and thus may be attracting the attention of people in the media. I hope this letter had been of some comfort to you, George, although I realize I am unable to answer your question completely. George Bush, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.” [CIA Exec Reg. # 76,51571 9.28.76]

    On March 29, 1977, while on a break from the interview, de Mohrenschildt received a card from Gaeton Fonzi, an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. That afternoon he committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth with a shotgun.  

    Days later [after de Mohrenschildt’s “suicide”], on April 1, 1977, Jeanne de Mohrenschildt gave the House Select Committee on Assassinations a photograph taken of Lee Harvey Oswald, by his wife Marina, standing in his Dallas backyard holding two newspapers and a rifle with a pistol on his hip. The existence of this photograph, while similar to others which had been found among Oswald’s effects on November 23, 1963, was previously unknown. Jeanne de Mohrenschildt said it had been kept privately for almost 14 years.

    On the back was written To my friend George from Lee Oswald, and the date “5/IV/63” [this is in Russian/European convention with day in front and month in Roman numerals, and means 5 April, 63] [1] along with the words “Copyright Geo de M”‘ and a Russian phrase translated as “‘Hunter of fascists, ha-ha-ha!” Handwriting specialists later concluded that the words “To my friend George…” and Oswald’s signature were written by Lee Harvey Oswald but could not determine whether the rest was the writing of Lee Oswald, George de Mohrenschildt or Marina Oswald. Some historians have speculated the Russian line was written by Marina, in sarcasm. (George de Mohrenschildt in his memoir translated it as “This is the hunter of fascists, ha, ha, ha!” and also assumed that Marina had written it sarcastically).

    George de Mohrenschildt wrote in his manuscript (reference and pages cited above) that he had missed Oswald’s photograph in packing for the move to Haiti in May, 1963, and this was why he hadn’t mentioned it to the Warren Commission (though he had noted in his manuscript that Oswald had a rifle in April, 1963, because he had seen it in the apartment at Easter and scoffed to Lee that he had missed General Walker, remembering in memory that Lee had blanched at the joke). According to de Mohrenschildt the photo was not found among his storage papers until his wife found it in 1967. When analyzed by the HSCA in 1977, this photo turned out to be a first generation copy of the backyard photo already known to the Warren commission as CE-133A, and which had probably been taken on March 31, 1963.

    Jeanne de Mohrenschildt also gave the HSCA committee a copy of a manuscript called I AM A PATSY! I AM A PATSY! which George de Mohrenschildt had recently written about his relationship with Oswald, wherein he said that the Lee Oswald he knew, while capable of violence and petty meanness, would not have been the sort of person to have killed John F. Kennedy. In part this judgement was based on de Mohrenschildt’s estimation of Oswald’s political views and Kennedy’s liberal ideas. The memoir has never been published as a trade book but has been available online since the entire typscript was published as an appendix in the HSCA report [3]. (For a partial re-type see [4]). De Mohrenschildt’s testimony to the Warren Commission in early 1964, however, paints a quite different view of Oswald – a man de Mohrenschildt said he considered a “kid” and not a friend. Due to the largely complete conflict in point of view between these two accounts (one given under some duress and the other written ostensibly for money) most historians give neither account of de Mohrenschildt great historical value [5].

    George de Mohrenschildt has been widely described as a sociable, talkative and gregarious provocateur and no direct connection between him and any intelligence agency – including the CIA – has ever been established (De Mohrenschildt denied in his manuscript ever having worked for the CIA, and openly admitted to detesting the FBI). However, his apparent family (brother) and social ties to the OSS and later CIA officials are beyond reasonable doubt.wiki

    Probably every last member of Congress has gotten a letter “complimenting” them on how lovely a family they have.

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