Francis Boyle: We Face WWIII, We Need Articles of Impeachment
Below is the transcript of the June 28, 2014 LaRouche Show, hosted by Harley Schlanger, featuring Professor Francis Boyle and EIR's Jeff Steinberg. Listen to the full interview HERE.
HARLEY SCHLANGER: Welcome to the LaRouche Show. It's Saturday, June 28, 2014. I'm Harley Schlanger and I will be your host.
On Tuesday, June 24, Lyndon LaRouche issued a statement under the heading "Hillary Clinton's Benghazi Revelations Mean Obama Must be Impeached Immediately," and it starts with Mr. LaRouche demanding that the House of Representatives launch immediate impeachment proceedings against Barack Obama, based on the account of the President's lying coverup of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Now there's obviously a lot more than simply the Benghazi case, but that's a very important example of the pattern of lawlessness and constitutional violations of this President.
Yesterday in an interview with the Voice of Russia, Mr. LaRouche discussed this again, and he made the extremely important point that, as he said, and I'll just quote him: "We're on the verge, if we don't get Obama out of office now—I can guarantee you, virtually guarantee you, that we're headed for thermonuclear war. The only way the thing will prevent thermonuclear war from being pushed, because Obama, as long as he has the power will push thermonuclear war!"
He was referring, of course, to the most recent developments in Iraq, as well as Ukraine, with the U.S. and the British and NATO conducting operations, illegal operations that go against our Constitution, but that are, de facto, threats that are forcing the Russians into a position which doesn't have to happen — which is, moving toward thermonuclear confrontation.
Now, to make it clear that this is not just something that is on Mr. LaRouche's agenda, we've seen a discussion of impeachment spread throughout politics and political discussion in recent days. For example, yesterday—and the reason that Mr. LaRouche was interviewed by Voice of Russia—was for his opinion on the lawsuit that the Speaker of the House John Boehner threatened to file to try to force Obama to abide by the Constitution.
Now, we're going to be discussing this, because under our Constitution, the proper legal remedy for this is to take it to the U.S. Congress, with an impeachment bill in the House and for the Senate to conduct a trial.
On the issue of impeachment, just in terms of the broad picture before we get to our guest, this is something that Mr. LaRouche has insisted is necessary for quite a while, and what we're seeing now is, events are catching up with what Mr. LaRouche had forecast. We see, with Ukraine and Iraq, a pattern of activity which has been going on since virtually the beginning of this administration.
Now what added to this in the last days, was the publication of a book, Blood Feud, by Ed Klein, which recounts the conversation on Sept. 11, 2012, between President Obama and Hillary Clinton, in which Obama ordered Hillary Clinton to lie about the events that occurred in Benghazi, that were occurring in Benghazi, and he suborned perjury from her. And we'll be discussing that, especially in the second half of this program.
But what I'd like to do now is bring in our guests. We have with us one of the most significant legal experts on this question on the planet, Professor Francis Boyle from the University of Illinois Law School. Professor Boyle is a renowned fighter for human rights. He has a very, very long résumé—it would take up the whole hour just to read his résumé—but he's been involved in international court cases representing the victims of genocide. He's written many books and articles, and he's been involved in attempting to protect the Constitution, and protect the country, which includes the right to impeach presidents who violate the Constitution.
So, we'll be speaking with him. And also joining us today will be Jeffrey Steinberg, the Counterintelligence editor of Executive Intelligence Review, and someone who's very active in Washington, and actually in bringing this case forward.
So, Professor Boyle, welcome to our program.
FRANCIS BOYLE: Thank you very much, Harley, for having me on again, and my best to your listening audience.
SCHLANGER: I'd like to start with the obvious question, which is, for you to delineate what is the basis for an impeachment of President Obama right now?
BOYLE: Well, it would be the same as any other President. I worked with the late great Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez on his bill of impeachment against President Bush Sr. for his war against Iraq, and I was counsel to him and did the first draft on that. And basically it is conduct that subverts the Constitution. So, it's just not enough for there to be mal-administration, or incompetence, although, legally and constitutionally—now, I guess technically the House can impeach a President for whatever they want. In the case of President Clinton, he was impeached for fellatio and lying about fellatio, as opposed to many of the bombing campaigns he engaged in.
In any event, technically, it should be for conduct that subverts the Constitution.
Now, under the current dire circumstances, I don't think we have time to deal with all the conduct that President Obama has engaged in that subverts the Constitution. We are in a very serious, dangerous, near-cataclysmic situation, both with respect to Russia over Ukraine, and then the disintegration of Iraq and Syria as states, setting off a general Middle East war that also could pull in Russia, and has already pulled in Iran.
So, I would recommend for any member of the House of Representatives considering a bill of impeachment—and I am willing to serve as counsel free of charge to any member of the House, as I did to Congressman Gonzalez—to consider a silver bullet approach to impeachment, namely, I don't believe we have time here for hearings, as has happened with Nixon. World War III could break out very soon, at any time here, if Obama keeps moving the way he is.
So, what I think we need are articles of impeachment that are clear-cut, slam-dunk, with no need for hearings. Indeed, there is a special procedure under the rules of the House of Representatives, that any member of the House can get up and simply impeach the President verbally on the floor of the House.
SCHLANGER: Francis, you're saying that just one Congressman could initiate this?
BOYLE: Or Congresswoman, that's correct. One member of the House of Representatives can do that. You can check the rules of the House of Representatives. They can get up, they can orally impeach right there on the floor of the House, and then, since the Republicans control the House, they could move to an immediate vote without hearings. All that can be done under the House Rules, assuming the Speaker of the House, Boehner, is willing to allow it. That would be my recommendation now, given the severity of the situation.
I also wanted to point out, of course, that Obama is threatening war against China too, which is a very serious issue, and is urging Japan — .
But let me go through then, two articles of impeachment in a bill, or oral impeachment, that are undeniable and a slam-dunk.
First, clearly, Obama's unconstitutional war against Libya, that violated the War Powers clause of the Constitution, and the War Powers resolution of 1973. And Obama even sent up his lawyer, Harold Koh, now back teaching at the Yale Law School with the other war criminals on that faculty, to justify it. And his justification, even Speaker Boehner said, did not pass the straight-face test. And that's correct. And Koh is so bad he wrote the legal justification for Reagan's invasion of Grenada, back when he worked for Reagan—that's what a bad lawyer, and how instrumentalist and opportunist he is.
But even Speaker of the House Boehner said that that argument did not pass the straight-face test.
SCHLANGER: What was that argument that they put forward?
BOYLE: I'm not going to waste my time here—it's a joke. Speaker Boehner said, it did not pass the straight-face test, and I agree with him. And there were already extensive hearings on this matter, so we don't need more hearings on that now.
Second is the murder of United States citizens. Right now, Obama has ordered the murder of four United States citizens, whom we know of, and there is a fifth U.S. citizen on his murder list now—Obama has already ordered him to be murdered, and they are trying to track him down now somewhere between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The murder of U.S. citizens clearly violates — this summary murder — the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the first guaranteeing due process of law, that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and the Sixth Amendment dealing with criminal prosecutions.
Now, in both cases, both of those Articles of Impeachment, there is ample, official documentation in the public record. The U.S. Court in New York just released the memorandum justifying the murders of U.S. citizens, by David Barron, working for Obama, who at that time was on the faculty of Harvard Law School—my dis-Alma Mater along with other war criminals there, on that faculty. It just came out; there's 100 pages, I haven't read it all. But I did read the White Paper that had been previously released, that summarized the arguments.
It is clear if you read the White Paper, which is based on the bigger memorandum, that this memo by Barron—and it was co-authored by Marty Lederman, who's now returned to Georgetown Law School, and they have some war criminals on that faculty too. Indeed, Georgetown wanted to hire me; the Dean then insisted that I first go work for the State Department right after the Vietnam War, and of course, I refused.
But, in any event, this memorandum was clearly never drafted in good faith. Rather it was drafted by Barron and Lederman to give Obama so-called legal cover, that basically Obama could say, well, my lawyers told me I could do it, so I did it, and that means it isn't criminal, it isn't a felony. In fact, there's a special U.S. statute, putting aside the murder statute, there is a special U.S. statute on murdering U.S. citizens abroad, that was enacted by Congress after Leon Klinghoffer was murdered, and it turned out there was no statute to deal with that issue. So, it's clear, at a minimum, that that statute was violated.
The memorandum, however, then, is simply designed to enable Obama to murder U.S. citizens, not only abroad, but even here in the United States. Attorney General Holder, in a letter to Senator Paul, and also Brennan, the CIA director, have both taken the position that President Obama can likewise, pursuant to the Barron memorandum, murder United States citizens even here in the United States.
And this memorandum by Barron—there are others that have not yet been released—is similar in purpose to the memorandum, the legal opinion, done by Jay Bybee when he headed the same office in the Department of Justice, for President Bush, and wrote an opinion letter, that basically enabled the entire torture scandal. The whole purpose there, was basically to give Bush and the rest of them a "Get Out of Jail Free Card," being able to say, well, the government's official branch said that I could do it, so I did it, and therefore it was not illegal.
And Bush Jr. paid off Bybee by appointing him to the Ninth Circuit of Appeals out there on the West Coast. Obama, just like Bush Jr., paid off Barron by appointing him to the First Circuit Court of Appeals out in Boston—where I'm licensed to practice law—and there to warm the seat for an appointment to the United States Supreme Court. It's a feeder court. Justice Breyer went from Harvard Law School, like Barron, to the First Circuit, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The difference, of course, between Bush and Obama are twofold. One, Bush, not to excuse him, never arrogated to himself, openly and publicly, the alleged right to murder U.S. citizens, as Obama has done. And number two, Obama, unlike Bush, is a lawyer! He was behind me at Harvard Law School. He was taught Constitutional law by Larry Tribe, and the late great Paul Freund taught Constitutional Law both to Tribe and me. So, that's the pedigree there.
Obama knows that this is clearly illegal and criminal, and unconstitutional activity.
So, Harley, we only have half an hour here, and we could discuss other matters if you want, but I think those two articles in a bill of impeachment, even orally, are incontestable. They do not require hearings to stall and delay everything. Basically that's what Speaker of the House Boehner's announced lawsuit is all about.
On a positive side, it indicates that a lot of massive pressure has been applied upon Boehner by House Republicans to impeach the President. But as Boehner said, well, I'm doing this lawsuit—I'm not going to impeach him. And really, Boehner is really just kicking the can down the road. He said, well, sometime in July I'm going to introduce legislation that will authorize the lawsuit. Well, he could certainly introduce legislation, a bill of impeachment, and get the whole thing taken care of immediately, if he wanted to.
But second, all Constitutional lawyers know, that at the end of the day, this lawsuit is going to be knocked out of court. I'm not going to go through all the grounds, here, but it will be knocked out on standing—the Raines decision by the U.S. Supreme Court—and also the political question doctrine. So, everyone knows this.
Now, Speaker of the House Boehner is not a lawyer, but he has some very sharp lawyers there advising him, and he knows full well that nothing is going to come of this lawsuit. So, he's just trying to postpone and stall and delay, and stave off the demand for immediate impeachment of President Obama.
SCHLANGER: Let me ask you a couple of other questions, because your time is short. ...
I'd like to ask you about the urgency, given that we're about to see, at least the President has indicated, that he's not going to go to the Congress before he acts in Iraq. There's evidence that comes out that, from the Defense Intelligence Agency and others, that this situation, that seems to have happened suddenly, has been unfolding for a long period of time, with the full knowledge of the President and key people on his staff.
Is there something that can be done to pre-empt? Would you say that the oral presentation is the best way to pre-empt the President from getting us into another war?
BOYLE: Well, I think you are certainly correct that Obama knew full well what was going to happen here in Iraq, and also Syria. Indeed, the gameplan has always been to basically disintegrate Iraq as a state, and that's really what's going on here, and Obama knows all about it.
Technically, constitutionally, he is already in violation of the War Powers resolution. He sent 300 Special Forces over there, which he admitted are equipped for combat, and the War Powers resolution gets triggered whenever U.S. forces are sent "into the territory, airspace, or waters of a foreign nation while equipped for combat." And he is currently positioning them for combat.
The Administration officials have already said, they are going to start bombing in Syria and in Iraq, and it appears that at least half of these Special Forces are slated to become forward air controllers for any bombing campaign. We already have, they already have armed Predator drones over there now, in the skies of Baghdad. So, Obama is already in violation of the War Powers resolution, now, as we speak.
And indeed, that's why the War Powers resolution was put in there, to deal with another Vietnam, that started out with President Kennedy sending in Special Forces, Green Berets—and then it gradually escalated from there. So, Obama is already in violation of the War Powers resolution on Iraq.
The problem here, Harley, as I see it, is that these issues here that I'm raising now, have not been addressed by Congress, or in the public record. There would probably be a demand for hearings on them, like on Libya, and that would postpone everything. So, in my opinion, to stop Obama bombing Iraq, bombing Syria, and provoking Russia to invade Ukraine—which could happen soon. As you know. President Putin just ordered all his troops to stand down, withdraw—he rescinded the resolution giving him authority to invade Ukraine by the Russia Duma—he's recognizing Poroshenko as the President, and now, as we speak today, the Obama Administration just issued an ultimatum that if he doesn't cease and desist, and basically convince the insurrectionists there to surrender, comprehensive economic sanctions will be adopted against Russia on Monday.
That deadline, I just read the article in the Financial Times. Obama has the EU on board for comprehensive sector economic sanctions against Russia on Monday, with a fixed deadline.
So, it is clear again. Likewise, in Ukraine, where Obama and Nuland, the neo-con who used to work for Cheney, orchestrated a neo-Nazi coup d'état against a democratically elected government in Ukraine. And we now have Obama, and Nuland, and the U.S. government working with neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and literally threatening Russia. And we now have border skirmishes over the Russian-Ukraine border, which has never been legally demarcated since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
SCHLANGER: So what you just described just adds to the necessity for some immediate action in the House. Jeff, I think you wanted to ask a question, or say something?
STEINBERG: Yes, Francis, I'd like you to just take our audience through the fastest possible steps. You've mentioned either a written or an oral bill of impeachment on two, basically slam-dunk issues. Are you suggesting that, for example, when Congress comes back after the Fourth of July recess, that the House could go into immediate grand-jury proceedings with the full House? How would that work precisely?
BOYLE: I think, Jeff, what's happening now, as you know, Congress has recessed for the Fourth of July holiday weekend period. I think, when they go home—not the Senators, but the members of the House—they have to be personally buttonholed by their constituents. It's not enough to send an e-mail. They'll be out there, in their districts, and the constituents—they have to respond to their constituents—must go up and demand the immediate impeachment of President Obama.
Now, I'm standing by here to help draft Articles of Impeachment, if I get instructions from a member of the House. We could draft these Articles of Impeachment, and have them read when the House reconvenes. And when the House reconvenes, the bill should be put in, the bill of impeachment, on these two articles. There should be a debate, and a vote. I believe the counts are already there to impeach the President. You had a Republican member of Congress say this openly. And then, ship it off to the Senate for trial.
Of course, the Senate is controlled by the Democrats. You need a two-thirds vote for conviction; I can't predict what will happen there in the Senate. But I think even a lot of the Democratic Senators are completely disillusioned with Obama. Many don't want to see another war. Others might decide that Joe Biden would be a more responsible figure as President than Obama. I can't say.
But the other thing we know from previous impeachment efforts, especially the first President Johnson, is that when things go to the Senate, anything can happen. The whole thing becomes completely volatile. And I think that what this would do, is force Obama to back down. That he would be realizing that if he continues on with attacking Iraq and Syria, provoking a war, confrontation, a Cuban Missile crisis with Russia, that he very well could be convicted in the Senate right away.
So, I think sending this off to the Senate immediately would mean Obama's dead in the water. He would have to spend full time preparing his defense in the Senate, and that would give us — whatever the result were — would give us time, the de-escalation of these crises. And even if Obama is not convicted in the Senate—and I'm not saying he would be—it would chasten him, and force him to cool his jets, certainly, on the threatening Russia in Ukraine, promoting the collapse of Iraq and Syria, as he did to Libya—the disintegration of both of them, as he's done to Afghanistan, and also threatening China, which is very serious, with the so-called Pivot to Asia. The statement that the United States is prepared to go to war with China, over a few rocks that Japan stole from China in the 1895 war of aggression, that Japan waged against a weakened China. That's just outrageous, that Obama and Hagel would threaten war with China over these little pieces of rock.
And in the meantime, Obama is enabling the militaristic Prime Minister Abe in Japan. And Abe is a direct descendant of a war criminal. The problem with Japan, after World War II, unlike in Germany, we never de-Nazified Japan. General MacArthur decided to keep them all in power, and they're still there today, and Abe is their leading representative, and we are enabling Abe in this confrontation with China.
So, we have three major geopolitical hotspots, right now, as we speak. Three separate tinderboxes, that Obama has deliberately moved us into. And a spark, like what happened 100 years ago today in Sarajevo, could set off any one of them.
STEINBERG: I'd like to just ask you real quick, just to buttress the points that you made over the last 30 minutes: In the case of Richard Nixon, at a certain point, leading figures within his own party concluded that he had to go. In some cases, it was for partisan reasons, in other cases, it was putting the issue of the survival of the country over the party. And you had, I'm sure you're familiar with the fact, that a delegation of leading—in that case, Republicans—Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott, I think that Howard Baker was somehow involved—went to Nixon and gave him basically the option of resigning, or facing a virtual certainty of conviction in the trial in the Senate.
And it strikes me, that there is a nascent Democratic revolt against Obama and what he's done to the country and the party, and as you emphasized, the uncertainty of what would happen in a Senate trial. Do you see the possibility of a Nixon option for Obama, namely, resign as an alternative to being actually convicted in a Senate trial, after a virtually certain bill of indictment coming out of the House?
BOYLE: I think you're right, Jeff. That's an important precedent for you to bring out, what happened with Nixon—that the powerbrokers in the Democratic Party could tell Obama he should leave, and resign, rather than face conviction in the Senate. But we're never going to get there, unless we have a bill of impeachment in the House.
STEINBERG: Absolutely, right.
BOYLE: And the Republicans control the House. They could have impeached Obama already, if they had wanted to, and long ago, if they had wanted to. And they haven't. So we need to build a fire under their feet. And especially when they go back into their districts now, over the Fourth of July weekend. They need to be buttonholed, and talked to.
SCHLANGER: And Francis, all of our listeners should take what you said, and use this, to take to their Congressional offices. You don't have to set up an appointment, just go into the office. Find out where they're going to be, a lot of them are going to be campaigning. And I think the point you're making, is that if they get a sense that the population has had it, with war, with violations of the Constitution, with illegality, if they get a sense that there's that burning sentiment in the population, we may have the conditions where your proposal will be taken up, hopefully within the next couple of weeks, because the situation is dire, indeed, as you've delineated it.
So, Francis, I know your time is up, and I'd like to thank you very much for joining us, and giving us this report. Do you have any final comments?
BOYLE: Well, again, I simply cannot underestimate the severity of the situation, especially in Ukraine, especially China, and now the Middle East. A hundred years ago today, one assassination led to the deaths of 10 million human beings. Well, anything could happen in either one of those three locales because of Obama, that could lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of human beings, because Russia is nuclear-armed, and China is nuclear-armed.
So, the stakes here are far higher than anything we have confronted before. And I think people have to understand that.
SCHLANGER: Okay. Well, thank you very much. This has been very useful for our listeners, and I think we'll make sure that your offer, I know that your offer to provide counsel is generally known in Congress — we'll make sure that everyone knows it.
BOYLE: All right, great. Yes, I'll be standing by, and especially if I hear from a member of Congress between now and over the Fourth of July break, I'd be happy to work with him or her.
STEINBERG: Look forward to see you in Washington, in that case, very soon.
BOYLE: Well, let's hope so. Right!