A number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers are concerned about the White House’s air assault on Libya, but Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) raised the rhetoric to 11 on Monday, suggesting President Obama should be impeached.
“President Obama moved forward without Congress approving. He didn’t have Congressional authorization, he has gone against the Constitution, and that’s got to be said,” Kucinich said in an interview with Raw Story. “It’s not even disputable, this isn’t even a close question. Such an action — that involves putting America’s service men and women into harm’s way, whether they’re in the Air Force or the Navy — is a grave decision that cannot be made by the president alone.”
According to Kucinich, Obama’s decision “would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense,” though he questioned whether Congress would ever move forward with a trial in practice.
As reported earlier by Politico, Kucinich raised the specter of impeachment in a conference call with Democratic lawmakers on Saturday.
Presidents have initiated many military conflicts without congressional approval since World War II, including President Clinton’s air assault on the Milosevic regime in Serbia in 1999, President Bush’s intervention in Somalia in 1992, and President Reagan’s own attack on Qaddafi in 1986. The War Powers Act — passed in reaction to the Vietnam War and mostly ignored by Presidents since then — requires the president to inform Congress that he is committing U.S. forces abroad within 48 hours and to request approval within 60 days.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.