Chaffetz doesn’t rule out impeachment for Obama
May 14th, 2013
08:46 PM ET
1 year ago

Chaffetz doesn’t rule out impeachment for Obama

(CNN) – Rep. Jason Chaffetz reiterated Tuesday that the impeachment of President Barack Obama is possible as the White House faces scrutiny over its role in responding to the terror attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

“Look, it's not something I'm seeking,” the Republican congressman from Utah said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” “It's not the endgame; it's not what we're playing for. I was simply asked, is that within the realm of possibilities, and I would say ‘yes.’ I'm not willing to take that off the table. But that’s certainly not what we’re striving for.”

Chaffetz first said impeachment could be an option in an interview published Monday by the Salt Lake Tribune.

“We want truth,” Chaffetz said on CNN. “We want to have the president do what he has said he would always do, and that is, be open and transparent. Thus far, the White House has not done that.”

Republicans' accusations of an administration-led coverup in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack were fueled last week by the release of internal e-mails showing that top administration officials scrubbed any mention of al Qaeda from talking points given to members of Congress and Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

The unclassified talking points have become a political flashpoint in a long-running battle between the administration and Republicans, who say that officials knew the attack was a planned terror operation while they were telling the public it was an act of violence that grew out of a demonstration over an anti-Islam video.

Asked Tuesday about critics who compare the controversy to Watergate, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that “people who make those kind of comparisons need to check their history.”

“What we have here with one issue, in Benghazi, is so clearly … a political sideshow, a deliberate effort to politicize a tragedy,” Carney said, echoing comments that Obama made Monday.

Chaffetz, who sits on the House Oversight Committee that heard testimony last week from three State Department employees who were dissatisfied with the administration’s handling of the attack, said the White House is simply trying to “demoralize” and take out the messenger.

“We heard from three very credible witnesses with more than 70 years of public service saying that what happened on the ground versus what the White House would lead us to believe were two totally different things,” he said.

The House of Representatives has the power to impeach a federal official by handing down charges called articles of impeachment. The Senate then tries the official and determines whether to remove the individual from office. For example, President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 over perjury allegations stemming from his sexual relationship with a White House intern, but the Senate acquitted him.

– CNN’s Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Jason Chaffetz • Libya • President Obama • Utah
soundoff (882 Responses)
  1. mountainlady

    The GOP have been praying for an excuse to crucify President Obama since he was elected. The sad loss of 4 Americans in Benghazi, Libya must seem heaven sent for them. Some degree of communications gap between any State Department and its far flung consulates and embassies might seem inevitable but this one will certainly turn into the witch hunt of the decade if the GOP has their way. The Republicans have lost so much respect and believability in the past several years that they will grasp at anything. I'm sure someone screwed up. People do. Impeachment... I don't think so. Dream on GOP.

    May 15, 2013 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  2. LookFool

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz reiterated Tuesday that the impeachment of President Barack Obama is possible as the White House faces scrutiny over its role in responding to the terror attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

    May 15, 2013 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  3. a.g.

    the republicans seem very confused at this point. they're all caught up in issues no one cares about. the country is coming back from the recession under Obama and that will be all that people will care about. the republicans will lose again next election. they've been left behind politically and socially as well. i'm no fan of the idea of a one party system but they've managed to F themselves up to the point where that may end up being the reality.

    May 15, 2013 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  4. Chris

    Why would it be ruled out?

    May 15, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  5. Kristin

    Hahahaha!!! Republicans: making mountains out of molehills, on the daily.

    May 15, 2013 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  6. J D

    Impeachment for them... The American people have been lied to many a time... Between the last two regimes... And the House and Senate stood by.

    May 15, 2013 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  7. Here we go again

    This Chaffetz guy is a joke.

    May 15, 2013 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  8. hayley

    How did this guy even get elected? He only went to school because he had an athletic scholarship. Right there that doesn't scream "scholar!". He represents a small fraction of people who live in the middle of no where. And he only became a Republican after meeting the man responsible for illegally selling weapons to Iran to fund guerilla warfare. IMO Who cares what this idiot thinks.

    May 15, 2013 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  9. Donna

    You can print what you like but the fact is that there were numerous threats and attacks on that embassy. You were told previously by the Ambassador that they were not able to protect it and they needed help.

    To me and alot of other Democrats we are saddened and disgusted. There are those of us who have children in the military. Shame on you for lying. Shame on you for blaming an innocent man using him and a video as an excuse. But most of all...shame on you for ignoring their cries for help.

    May 15, 2013 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  10. Gina

    republicans have such a short memory. During W's reign, their were embassy attacks that killed at least 10 people. No investigations occurred at that time. Why? You now about Darth Vader (Cheney) saying their is a cover up/distortion of facts – takes one to know one- REALLY!!! 4500+ killed in IRAQ for a lie and no investigation as to how this occurred – but wait 4 people in Benghazi warrants this hoopla?? Additionally, did president Obama purposefully cause this to happen? If the republicans say yes, they too should be impeached due to their defunding of important government programs. People get a grip -

    May 15, 2013 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  11. Here we go again

    I wish the Democrats were this agressive in examining the 'weapons of mass destruction' issue. It would have been a slam dunk impeachment.

    May 15, 2013 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  12. Gumdrop

    OMG I can not believe it. CNN actually wrote a story about the possible impeachment of OBAMA. OMG I think I am going into shock... CNN actually told the truth once in the last 12 or so years.

    May 15, 2013 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  13. Justina

    The Republicans are still bitter about their loses in the 2012 Election. They tried everything they could to politicize this Benghazi issue during the election but failed woefully. Now they want Impeachment. I am sure they know what Impeachment really means, since they did same to Clinton. But to keep thinking that the mentioning of Al Qaeda as being behind the attacks would have led to Obama's loosing the Election 2012 is totally crazy and shows how naive they are about winning the Presidential Election. The Election was not even close at all, despite Romney's brilliant salesmanship performance in the first debate. Winning Elections is beyond all these rankles in this present political DNA. It's time the Republicans get their acts together and face other important issues facing the country. Crying over split milk would not bring the dead back to live. We lost over 4,000 Americans in 9/11 and there was no impeachment of anyone.

    May 15, 2013 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  14. ericgoestoholland

    Should impeachment have been on the table for GWB after 9/11? I don't think so, and I was not a fan of the guy. Makes me realize that congress would be more productive if they were on two sides of the same coin, not on opposite sides of different galaxies.

    May 15, 2013 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  15. Name Uche Agonsi

    Two key questions Americans should asks on their Constitutional Democracy are........what is the future of a political system political opponents declare unbridled opposition to any policy of the President, even before the policy comes out.....& how do they fight the use of money in subverting the majority desires of Americans. Maybe, a third is whether a President is expected to be 100% effective with deliberately installed obstacles from the oppositions. God bless America .

    May 15, 2013 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  16. Plm931

    Can congress pleeeezzzzeee do the work of the Country? (Yes, I know congress starts with an upper case "c," but they don't deserve it!). We have pressing issues, yet they continue to waste time on idiotic things like impeaching the President. Next, they'll be looking for his birth certificate again!

    May 15, 2013 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  17. Ajax

    Well, the republicans could not have picked an individual with a more confused personal identity than Chaffetz. The poor baby doesn't even realize that he is just so much wolf bait presented by the republicans while they posture and threaten in testing the waters to see how far they can go with nonsensical fantasies like impeachment. Just more smoke and whining from people that can't stand themselves for losing the upper hand.

    May 15, 2013 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  18. Cannonfodder

    Well now, the Republicans could not have picked an individual with a more confused personal identity than Chaffetz. The poor baby doesn't even realize that he is just so much wolf bait presented by the republicans while they posture and threaten in testing the waters to see how far they can go with nonsensical fantasies like impeachment. Just more smoke and whining from people that can't stand themselves for losing the upper hand.

    May 15, 2013 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  19. snowdogg

    Personally, I have more than enough c r a p from vindictive Repubs. Shut up and help get the country moving again!

    May 15, 2013 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  20. cmon

    CNN clearly playing politics with this headline. I would hope no one in either party would rule out impeachment in the middle of ANY investigation. What a joke. This is not news.

    May 15, 2013 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  21. kamarasune

    If impeachment was worth a grain of salt in the falling down failure that the U.S. government has become it would have stuck when Clinton perjured himself....

    May 15, 2013 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  22. MOCaseA

    I'd say that someone needs to read the articles of impeachment. Unless one of those email specifically has Obama's name on it, or instructions directly from Obama the most they'll be able to do is impeach the most senior level official associated.

    May 15, 2013 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  23. Tracy

    Four dead. Sad, yes, but if they are really interested in the truth, take a look at how Bush and his team led us into a war with Iraq based on bs. 100,000+ dead there....

    May 15, 2013 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  24. Treynor

    I fully agree, all republicans should be impeached. It's the economy stupid.

    May 15, 2013 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  25. CC

    Pure politics, if you can't beat him in an election try to impeach him, shameful.

    May 15, 2013 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
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