MONTPELIER, Vt. – Leading Democrats in Vermont plan to decide in April whether to urge state lawmakers to petition for President Bush's impeachment using a little-known provision in the rules of the U.S. House.
Democratic committees in at least half of the state's 14 counties have passed resolutions calling for impeachment, citing a rule in "Jefferson's Manual," a book of parliamentary guidelines written by Thomas Jefferson that supplements U.S. House rules.
The anti-Bush movement is "genuinely bubbling up from the grass roots," said Jon Copans, the state party's executive director.
The state Democratic committee is scheduled to decide the issue in a special meeting April 8.
The resolutions accuse the Bush administration of lying about the case for war in Iraq and illegally engaging in electronic surveillance of Americans.
They rely on "Jefferson's Manual," which says impeachment proceedings can begin "by charges transmitted from the legislature of a state."
Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington said lawmakers should stay focused on state issues and suggested Bush critics work to elect a different Congress in November "that could investigate the actions of the president and change the direction of the country."
James Barnett, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, said presidents should not be impeached "because we disagree with them," adding that evidence for impeachment was drawn from "left-wing blogs and conspiracy theories."
A message seeking comment from the White House press office was not immediately returned.