With national attention focused on a long list of petitions asking the Obama administration for permission to secede from the United States, a little-watched petition to impeach the president has crept up in the rankings on the White House’s “We the People” petition Web page.
“We request that Barack Obama be impeached,” the petition reads. Launched on Nov. 11, it collected 28,850 digital signatures from all 50 states in five days. The White House has promised to review petitions that attract more than 25,000 such signatures.
The petition’s creator, identified only as “Stephen M” — the website does not provide last names — based the proposal on complaints about the president’s health care law, his declaration of war on Libya without congressional consent, the appointment of unelected policy “czars” in the White House and a claim that he has tried to “change” the Constitution.
“He proclaimed war in libya without getting congress approval first,” the petition reads. “Article I, Section 8- Only congress can approve to start war.”
“Obamacare is unconstitutional,” it claims, objecting to “[f]orcing US citizens to get health insurance whether they want it or not.”
“Obama disrespects our Constitution,” it continues, “calling it flawed and trying to change it even after taking [his] oath”
“Appointing agency ‘czars’ without Senate approval,” the petition concludes, is another reason for impeachment.
Bill Clinton was the last sitting president to be impeached. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives based that action in December 1998 on Clinton’s alleged perjury when he testified that he had not engaged in a sexual tryst with a White House intern. A report from independent counsel Kenneth Starr later showed that testimony was false.
Ten Republicans joined all 45 Democrats in the U.S. Senate in refusing to convict Clinton by a 10-vote margin. A conviction would have resulted in his removal from office.
Andrew Johnson was the only other U.S. president to be impeached, in 1868. The Senate voted not to convict him, sparing his presidency by a single vote.
The 71 existing petitions to allow states to secede from the U.S. have accumulated a combined 859,000 signatures.
Another petition, to “repeal Obamacare,” had more than 38,800 votes Friday afternoon.