Six Questions, Washington Babylon — August 8, 2007, 11:45 am

Six Questions (Without Answers) for Congressman John Conyers on Impeachment and Alberto Gonzales

questionconyers

Back in May, I requested an interview with Congressman John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and received a quick “yes” from his office. I was told that conducting the interview by e-mail would be quicker than waiting for a meeting with the congressman, so I sent over a list of six questions as requested. Since then, I have asked repeatedly for the promised replies and was assured that they would be forthcoming. My most recent request was sent to Melanie Roussell, a spokeswoman at the Judiciary Committee, on July 23rd. She apologized for letting “this slip through the cracks” and said she would “follow up . . . later today.” That’s the last I’ve heard, and as it’s now been four months since I made the original request I’ve decided to just go ahead and post the questions that I was told Congressman Conyers would be happy to answer. Several, as you’ll see, have been overtaken by events.

If the congressman would like to reply I’d be happy to fill in the blanks.

  1. If President Bush wants Attorney General Gonzales to remain on the job and the Senate’s vote of No Confidence doesn’t produce his resignation, will the Judiciary Committee seek to impeach him?

  2. When Monica Goodling testified, she was asked a single question about her dealings with Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, and she gave a brush off answer. Does the committee plan to follow up on this angle? Does the congressman believe that Rove and/or Miers are important figures in this story?

  3. Is President Bush (and/or Vice President Cheney) guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors in regard to leading the country into the war in Iraq?

  4. Polls show that impeachment of President Bush is supported by a notable section of the public. Why isn’t impeachment on the table? Have the Democrats decided for political reasons that impeachment should not be pursued? Was the congressman pressured by the party leadership to steer clear of the topic, as has been reported?

  5. Some watchdog groups criticized the congressman for opposing a measure in the ethics bill that would have extended the revolving door ban to two years? Why did the congressman oppose that step –especially at a time that the public appears to be so cynical about political corruption and supportive of stricter ethics rules?

  6. The congressman has announced that he will hold hearings on climbing gasoline prices. What’s the biggest factor behind the rise in prices?

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

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