McKinney’s last futile act: impeachment bill

In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney introduced a bill Friday to impeach President Bush.

The legislation has no chance of passing and serves as a symbolic parting shot not only at Bush but also at Democratic leaders. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has made clear that she will not entertain proposals to sanction Bush and has warned the liberal wing of her party against making political hay of impeachment.

McKinney, a Democrat who drew national headlines in March when she struck a Capitol police officer, has long insisted that Bush was never legitimately elected. In introducing her legislation in the final hours of the current Congress, she said Bush had violated his oath of office to defend the Constitution and the nation’s laws.

In the bill, she accused Bush of misleading Congress on the war in Iraq and violating privacy laws with his domestic spying program.

McKinney has made no secret of her frustration with Democratic leaders since voters ousted her from office in the Democratic primary this summer. In a speech Monday at George Washington University, she accused party leaders of kowtowing to Republicans on the war in Iraq and on military mistreatment of prisoners.

McKinney, who has not discussed her future plans, has increasingly embraced her image as a controversial figure.

She has hosted numerous panels on Sept. 11 conspiracy theories and suggested that Bush had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks but kept quiet about it to allow friends to profit from the aftermath. She introduced legislation calling for disclosure of any government records concerning the killing of rapper Tupac Shakur.

But it was her scuffle with a Capitol police officer that drew the most attention. McKinney struck the officer when he tried to stop her from entering a congressional office building. The officer did not recognize McKinney, who was not wearing her member lapel pin.

A grand jury in Washington declined to indict McKinney over the clash, but she eventually apologized before the House.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press