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Barbara Boxer: "This Is As Close As We've Ever Come To A Dictatorship"

After Downing Street | July 13, 2007

Here's Barbara Boxer on the Ed Schultz Show yesterday. Though she wimped out a bit at the end, she was mostly strong on the necessity of considering impeachment.

(If you haven't already, sign the ImpeachCheney.org petition and the Moveon impeachment petition .)

Listen (mp3)

SCHULTZ: They're throwing down the gauntlet. They're just declaring that they're not going to change anything -- the President in Cleveland yesterday saying, we're just getting started. So in the meantime, the frustration of the American people continues to build, and I have to tell you Senator, I'm not trying to rope you into a conversation one way or another or where you're at on this, but I want to say this for our listeners: they want impeachment put back on the table. They want impeachment on the table as a bargaining chip. Because for instance, Scooter Libby, commuting the sentence, what happened today with Sarah Taylor saying she'd been instructed by the president not to say anything, Alberto Gonzales, the story today about how he was briefed over the Patriot Act and then lied a week later in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. I mean, when is enough is enough?

BOXER: Yeah. I mean, you left out a bunch of things -- spying on citizens without a warrant, going around FISA, on and on. Look, I have always said it should be on the table. Ed, I've always said it. I was on a book tour and I ran into John Dean of Watergate fame. He was on the book tour that I was on, for his book. And it was right after we discovered that the administration was spying on our people without a warrant. And he just said, he looked at me and basically just said, as far as he could see, unless there was some explanation for this, this was impeachable. I've always said that you need to keep it on the table, and you need to look at these things, because now people are dying because of this administration. That's the truth. And they won't change course. They are ignoring the Congress. They keep signing these signing statements which mean that he's decided not to enforce the law. This is as close as we've ever come to a dictatorship. When you have a situation where Congress is stepped on, that means the American people are stepped on. So I don't think you can take anything off the table. Because in fact the Constitution doesn't permit us to take these things off the table.

SCHULTZ: Would you counsel Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to put it on the table and make a statement before everybody goes home in August. Because they're going to get an earful from the American people when they go home.

BOXER: Well, I don't presume to tell people what to do. I have made my statements. And of course if asked I will say. I've been out there, I'm out here again today. I think, John Conyers is -- this is where impeachment starts. When Alberto Gonzales, when it came out that he fired these U.S. attorneys, that it was politics being played with it, I thought then that we should look into impeachment hearings. So I don't think it should be taken off the table.

On the other hand, we've got a war to end. We've got things that we've got to keep on doing. So if we do this right, we should give it to the appropriate committees, let them do the hard work that it entails, but we have to do something about health insurance. We have to do something about global warming. We have to end this war. We have to do something about education. And all these other things. About the budget deficit. You have to walk and chew gum at the same. And I know Nancy's point was, we have to reverse about seven years of this horrific administration's policies, and she's fearful of losing steam on that, in that regard.

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