Daily Staff Reporter

Speculation that U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) was preparing articles of impeachment against President Bush have proved false.

While Conyers has received a large and varied response on the issue, his spokeswoman said, he will not lead a campaign to impeach the president.

Concerns that Bush did not adhere to the Constitution in initiating war with Iraq initially prompted Conyers to seek legal advice about the possibility of impeachment.

“The congressman believes that pursuing articles of impeachment is not a wise or productive course. However, he believes that there are constitutional and due-process issues that the Bush administration needs to address,” spokeswoman Dena Graziano said.

Under the Constitution, Conyers has the legal power to propose an impeachment hearing as a member of the House of Representatives.

However, in order to impeach the president, a congressman has to prove that president is guilty of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” or a serious breach of office or abuse of duty, Wayne State University law Prof. Robert Sedler said.

“There may be questions as to whether some actions of the Bush administration are constitutionally permissible, but they do not rise to the level of serious breach of official duty or serious abuse of office,” Sedler said.

The speculation began as a result of talks between Conyers and legal experts who suggested the possibility of impeachment to the congressman.

“He was approached by some law professors who were concerned about the administration’s abuse of due-process,” Graziano said.

“He convened a meeting with lawyers and legal experts to discuss the issue and ultimately decided not to pursue any action. We want to set the record straight on that.”

Sedler concurred with Conyers’ decision to not pursue legal action against the president and noted that the congressman’s senior position – he is the ranking democrat on the House Judicial Committee, which would hold any impeachment hearing – within the House requires that he act with caution.

“Congressman Conyers is one of the leading and highly respected members of Congress, so it is not surprising that he would decide that it is not proper to pursue articles of impeachment against the president,” Sedler said.

In February, Conyers joined five other members of Congress and a group of soldiers and their families to file a lawsuit against Bush that was dismissed later that month by a federal judge.

The suit aimed at preventing the president from launching an invasion of Iraq without a congressional declaration of war.

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