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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

TPMmuckraker: EXCLUSIVE: Bush Admin May Have Violated 26 Statutes, Dems Say

By Justin Rood - July 31, 2006, 1:53 PM

The Bush administration may have broken over two dozen federal laws and regulations -- some of them multiple times -- according to an unreleased report from the House Judiciary Committee Democrats.

"The misconduct I have found is not only serious, but widespread," reads a draft summary of the report by Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI):

The laws implicated by the Administration’s actions include federal laws against making false statements to congress [sic]; federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other government employees; Executive Orders concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence; federal regulations and ethical requirements governing conflicts of interest; the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; communications privacy laws; the National Security Act; and the Fourth Amendment.

The document, an update to the Democrats' December 2005 report, "A Constitution in Crisis," will be released later this week, according to knowledgeable sources. It is several hundred pages long, with over a thousand footnotes.

In earlier days such a report would be easily ignored. But with the looming possibility of Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in November, Conyers' charges pose a potentially serious threat to the Bush administration. After all, it takes only a simple majority vote in the House to impeach a sitting president.

On their face, the laundry list of alleged wrongs form a natural basis for impeachment proceedings -- but Conyers has insisted he has no intention of rushing to impeach. No, a slow walk to possible impeachment (preferably down a path that includes months of hearings) is more what the would-be chairman envisions, he has said.

My call to the White House was not immediately returned.

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