Former Rep. Allen West said Tuesday that releasing five high-level Taliban terror detainees in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without properly notifying Congress constitutes an impeachable offense for President Barack Obama.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
“Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that Barack Hussein Obama’s unilateral negotiations with terrorists and the ensuing release of their key leadership without consult — mandated by law — with the U.S. Congress represents high crimes and misdemeanors, an impeachable offense,” West said on his website.
“So I call upon the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives; Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to draft articles of impeachment as no one is above the law in America,” West continued. “The failure to do so speaks volumes.”
Speaking about the issue on WMAL radio in Washington earlier Tuesday, West said "you've got to send a message to President Obama that, you know, you're not a king.”
“That is, without a doubt, something that violates the trust and the confidence, and it represents high crimes and misdemeanors," said West, a retired lieutenant colonel.
West served one term in Congress before losing a very close re-election battle in 2012.
“Obama’s breaking of the law in this case presents serious national security concerns — for all Americans,” West stated on his website.
Obama signed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which contained a provision requiring Congress be given 30 days' notice before releasing any prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. In signing the law, Obama used a signing statement to assert the provision was not constitutional.
Several Obama administration officials have said that Bergdahl was in immediate danger and the government had to act quickly to secure his release. Administration officials also contend they were not negotiating with terrorists because the government of Qatar was an intermediary and because Bergdahl was a prisoner of war, not a hostage.
Obama said that prisoner of war swaps have been done for as far back as President George Washington.