(CNSNews.com) - Democrats and liberal advocacy groups have been talking about impeaching President George W. Bush for months. But when Republicans say the president indeed may be impeached if Democrats regain control of Congress, they're just trying to scare people, a Democratic operative says.
In an op-ed column in Thursday's Detroit Free Press, Robert Weiner, a former press secretary to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), accused Republicans of "trying to create hysteria about the likelihood of impeaching President Bush."
According to Weiner, "Impeachment is not on Conyers' current agenda. It is only a red herring on the Republican agenda."
In a Democratic House, Conyers would be chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and thus a key player in deciding to impeach, or bring charges against, the president.
Weiner, who also worked for the Clinton White House, says Conyers "has told me directly: 'I'm not going to conduct an impeachment. That would take all of our time. I would not want to bring an impeachment investigation because that would drain time and energy from the work that needs to be done, and it would take away the country's attention from issues that need to be addressed.'"
Weiner said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who would become speaker of a Democrat-controlled House, said last May that "Democrats are not about impeachment. Democrats are about bringing the country together." (You don't decide to impeach, Pelosi said at the time, until the facts and "investigations" lead you there. She left the question open.)
The Republican National Committee insists that the real Democratic agenda is impeachment -- spurred by hatred for George W. Bush as well as payback fo r what happened to Bill Clinton.
A number of Democrat/liberal websites, groups and individuals certainly do want Bush impeached on a variety of grounds -- including the invasion of Iraq, the NSA wiretapping program, and alleged abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
Various cities and towns have passed impeachment resolutions, urging Congress to act against the president. A number of Democratic politicians, Sens. John Kerry and Barbara Boxer among them, have mused about impeaching Bush. And groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union also have pressed the impeachment issue.
Based on the sentiment of liberal grassroots groups, Conyers -- if he becomes Judiciary Committee chairman in a Democratic House -- would find himself under tremendous pressure to bring charges against the president in a time of war, as CNSNews.com has noted..