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(07/12/07) -

Americans Assess Case for Bush Impeachment

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Some adults in the United States believe their current president should face legal action, according to two recent public opinion polls. In a survey by Gallup released by USA Today, 36 per cent of respondents believe there is justification for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush at this time.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Some adults in the United States believe their current president should face legal action, according to two recent public opinion polls. In a survey by Gallup released by USA Today, 36 per cent of respondents believe there is justification for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush at this time.

In a study by Rasmussen Reports, 39 per cent of respondents think Bush should be impeached and removed from office, while 49 per cent disagree.

In the U.S., the federal process for impeachment begins with a vote in the House of Representatives, followed by a trial in the Senate. Only two American presidents—Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998—have been impeached by the lower house. Both Johnson and Clinton were later acquitted by the upper house. In April 1974, Richard Nixon resigned after impeachment hearings had started.

Several Democratic lawmakers—including Michigan congressman John Conyers, California senator Barbara Boxer and Georgia congressman John Lewis—have openly discussed Bush’s impeachment, either for not telling the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, or for authorizing the National Security Agency (NSA) to wiretap the telephone calls and e-mails of Americans suspected of having terrorist ties.

In March 2006, Democratic Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold officially introduced a resolution to censure Bush for the NSA secret domestic electronic surveillance program. In 1834, Andrew Jackson became the only U.S. president to be censured for removing the nation’s money from a private bank in defiance of the Senate.

On Jul. 9, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan hinted at a possible bid for the California congressional seat currently held by the House of Representatives speaker, saying, “If Nancy Pelosi doesn’t support articles of impeachment (…) by the time we get there, then I will announce my candidacy against her.” Sheehan is the mother of U.S. soldier Casey Sheehan, who died in April 2004 during the coalition effort in Iraq.

Polling Data

a) As you may know, impeachment is the first step in the constitutional process for removing a president from office, in which possible crimes are investigated and charges are made. Do you think there is or is not justification for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against U.S. president George W. Bush at this time?

There is justification

36%

There is no justification

62%

Not sure

3%

Source: Gallup / USA Today
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,014 American adults, conducted from Jul. 6 to Jul. 8, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

b) Should U.S. president George W. Bush be impeached and removed from office?

Yes

39%

No

49%

Source: Rasmussen Reports
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted on Jul. 5 and Jul. 6, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.