Saturday, November 11, 2006Elizabeth Holtzman provides interesting perspective on how impeachment might develop in the House.
AMY GOODMAN: What's your response to the Speaker in waiting, Nancy Pelosi, saying [impeachment is] off the table?
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN: Well, it's very understandable. It was off the table to the Democrats in 1973, when the Democrats controlled the House and the Senate, and you had Richard Nixon as president.
AMY GOODMAN: He had won by a landslide victory in 1972.
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN: Correct. He had won by a landslide, and impeachment was off the table then. Nobody -- no Democrat was pushing for it. And, in fact, as the revelations came out, it still wasn't on the table. It took the American people, after the Saturday Night Massacre, sending a clear message to the Congress --
AMY GOODMAN: The Saturday Night Massacre being?
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN: The firing by Richard Nixon of the special prosecutor who was investigating him. It took that clear signal from the American people, who said, "Enough is enough. We are not a banana republic. A president cannot be above the law. He cannot stop an investigation into possible criminal behavior by him or his top aides. And we want Congress to hold him accountable." So it came from the American people. It didn't come from the Congress.
It's understandable that congressional leaders, members of Congress, will be very reluctant to take this enormous step to protect our Constitution and our democracy. But the American people still -- we have a democracy. You saw what happened at the polls. Members of Congress will get it, if the American people want it.
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