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Transcript of Constitutional attorney, Bruce Fein from the Non-impeachment Judicial Committee hearings, July 2008 on the definitive impeachable offense:

Bruce Fein speaks:

"I'd just like to make one observation about the idea of misleading Congress as an impeachable offense
This is a quotation from James Iredell. (Now) He was appointed by George Washington to be on the first Supreme Court of the United States. He was there, if you will, 'at the creation' -- to borrow from Dean Atchison. He was speaking to the North Carolina ratification convention.

"And this is what he said:
"'The President must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate. He is to regulate all intercourse with foreign powers, and it is his duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives -- whether he believes it or not. If it should appear that he has not given them full information but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country in which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them -- in this case, yes, isn't that clearly an impeachable offense?'

"So, the founding fathers understood exactly the situation that has been alleged in this case -- not necessarily that President Bush lied, it's clear that he didn't give the full slate of information to the Congress that was available regarding weapons of mass destruction, collusion between Saddam and Al-Quada, or otherwise. And this is, as the Supreme Court has said, a virtual definitive interpretation of an impeachable offense, because it was made by someone who was there at the time, participated in the convention and ratification. It's not something that's concocted after the fact."

 

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