Half of Americans favour Bush impeachment
WASHINGTON: Nearly half of the US public wants President George W Bush to face impeachment, and even more favour that fate for Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a poll out Friday.
The survey by the American Research Group found that 45 percent support the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Bush, with 46 percent opposed, and a 54-40 split in favour when it comes to Cheney.
The study by the private New Hampshire-based ARG canvassed 1,100 Americans by telephone between July 3 and 5 and had an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points. The findings are available on ARG’s website.
The White House declined to comment on the poll, the latest bad news for a president who has seen his public opinion standings dragged to record lows by the unpopular war in Iraq. The US Constitution says presidents and vice presidents can be impeached – that is, formally charged by the House – for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” by a simple majority vote. Conviction by the Senate, which requires a two-thirds majority, means removal from office.
Just two US presidents have been impeached. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 and acquitted in 1999 and Andrew Johnson was impeached and acquitted in 1868.
Disgraced president Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 when a House impeachment vote appeared likely. In late April, left-wing representative Dennis Kucinich, a long-shot Democratic presidential hopeful, introduced a resolution calling for Cheney’s impeachment. To date, the measure has nine listed co-sponsors and a 10th set to sign on when the House returns to work next week. But Democratic leaders appear unlikely to pursue such a course. afp