Presidential candidate Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., said Sunday that President Bush won't be impeached as long as Republicans control Congress, but added, "The good news is that in November of 2004 the American people will have a chance to both impeach and remove George W. Bush in one step."
Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Graham reiterated his believe that the president had committed an impeachable offense by leading the U.S. into war under what he suggested were false pretenses, going so far as to accuse Bush of "dereliction of duty."
"Clearly, if the standard is what the House of Representatives did in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the actions of this president are much more serious in terms of dereliction of duty for the president of the United States."
Graham insisted somewhat bizarrely that Bush's 16-word State of the Union address reference to Iraq seeking uranium from Niger was critical to the administration's case for making war on Iraq.
"It was central because the rationale of going to war was that the United States' people were under an imminent threat," he told Fox News.
When "FNS" host Brit Hume reminded the Florida Democrat that Bush had specifically warned that the U.S. couldn't afford to wait until the threat from Saddam was imminent, Graham retreated into semantics.
"This was described as not a preventive war, but a pre-emptive war," he explained. "The difference between preventive and pre-emptive is, how imminent is the threat. If this was a pre-emptive war, then the administration must have had some reason, or at least stated it had a reason, for that imminence. And the most significant threat was nuclear."
"We've known that they've had biological and chemical for a long time," Graham continued unconvincingly. "But the fact that they might be on the verge of having nuclear capabilities is what made it so imminent and therefore justified the pre-emptive war."
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