Chaffetz doesn’t rule out impeachment for Obama
May 14th, 2013
08:46 PM ET
2 years 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. yesorno

    Go ahead Jason Chaffetz and a the GOP. Keep being stupid. 2014 we are sending you fools back home.

    May 15, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  2. DonJuan1943

    This story only is shows how ridiculous the idea of impeachment is. And it only shows how ridiculous Chaffitz and his tea party republicans Chaffitz wild allegations have no basis in fact. Period!

    May 15, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  3. Joan Wheeler

    Republicans are spinning out of control twisting themselves this way and that way in their efforts to destroy Obama. They will do anything to achieve this goal even if they have to tear down the country in their willful, irresponsible, greedy efforts. They do not deserve to be in office.

    May 15, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  4. Josie W.

    He needs to be impeached, he said he takes full responsibility for Benghazi. It is time that this joke of a president moves on.

    May 15, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  5. Tony

    This is really obvious the republicans do not give a rat's behind about the people who died in benghazi all they care about is their racist bigoted agenda to derail a black president, but God put him there and no man on earth can remove him. All obstructionist will be removed come 2014 this is a last ditch attempt by these clowns to regain power that they will never have going forward.

    May 15, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  6. twm

    And who is this attention seeker? Who died and made his king?
    Maybe he should bring his proposal to the floor of the House – and show the entire world what a fool he is!

    May 15, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  7. vp

    Did Mr.Bush ever tell us why we REALLY went into Iraq?

    didn't think so...

    May 15, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  8. ladyjag

    How about of we impeach, or fire every REPUBLICAN in the house. The stupidity in this branch knows no bounds. The only reason they would IMPEACH the PRESIDENT, is because they lost the ELECTION. It is time for them to get over it. I really feel sorry for people like we have in the HOUSE. WE NEED TERM LIMITS. This needs to be done. The House has run COUNTRY to the dogs. Give us a break. work on something important.

    May 15, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  9. GW 1970

    Impeach Obama. Yeh, right. If we were really going to impeach someone, what about Richard Bruce Cheney, who outed an undercover CIA agent, lied about Iraq's alleged involvement in 9-11, said they were going to greet us like liberators in Iraq and said the war was going to pay for itself. And what about then National Security Advisor Condi Rice, She was told by Richard Clarke on August 6, 2001 that an attack from Bin Laden was imminent and did nothing. She should have been tried for treason. Yet, she gets to parade around in an ugly green jacket down at Augusta. Responsibility is not a word Republicans understand when applied to them.

    May 15, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  10. joe dokes

    The Republicans would impeach Obama for jaywalking if they could.

    May 15, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. tritonrider

    Why would he rule it out? Obama makes Nixon look like Mother Theresa.

    May 15, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  12. keith

    lol good luck to that

    May 15, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  13. nuclear mike

    Impeach the President...it is the only solution to all this...but who wants Biden to be
    next? My God, what chaos Washington-DC has fallen into!!! The IRS has always been the "attack dog" of the White House to use against their 'enemies'.

    The President has to go!

    May 15, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  14. John

    You could say the death penalty was "on the table" too. It would be just at irrelevant as it is to be talking about impeachment when you cannot name a single charge. This is how republicans govern. This is all they ever actually do. The idea that because we are investigation and finding nothing wrong must mean you are hiding something is a unique form of stupidity and flawed reason that is required to continue to support today's anti American gop.

    May 15, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  15. christina knight

    What another politically motivated, hyperpartisan circus by the party that does not respect the outcome of elections that do not go their way?

    May 15, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  16. It's Me

    The king is not going to be happy.

    May 15, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  17. Nicole

    Dear GOP,

    The horse is dead. Find a new horse.

    May 15, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  18. Steve

    Just silly. David Patreaus already stated Alquada was scrubbed from press reports immediately after the attack to protect CIA assets on the ground. Impeachment is silly rhetoric. Press release talking points are always edited and changed in every administration . When are these tea baggers going to shut up and go away. Time to legislate all they are are a bunch of obstructionists.

    May 15, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  19. Anonymous

    When are Americans going to finally say to our GOP enough is enough...get busy and work on America's problems as a whole! The GOP is waiting lots of $$$$ and time. I was an independent voter; the GOP is making it such an easy decision to just go Democratic in the future. At this point, I would even vote for a bad Democrat then any of them.

    May 15, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  20. Brad

    Oh please, if Bush made it through his term without impeachment for the many embassy attacks on his watch, I think Obama will be fine... Especially since the GOP blocked funding for embassy defense.

    May 15, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  21. Phillip

    DO IT!!! Because then the republicans will complete their turn to the total dark side. Let the HATE FLOW THROUGH YOU. Politically i think it would be the republicans last act in american politics.

    May 15, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  22. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Politics are not for the faint of heart. Whatever it takes to gain a political advantage, they will do it. All sides of the aisle. If you don't like it, don't get involved in politics. Remember, they lie for a reason.

    May 15, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  23. RomneyWho

    Chaffetz and the whole gang of republicans were missing in action when impeachment would have been just and valid for the lies and coverups that ran amok during the Bush and Chaney years, 2000 through 2008. Now they represent the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" From every hand, with every finger pointing at President Barack Obama, three fingers are pointing back at them, the republican house and senate, for what they did and are doing to this great nation. The party of "No", the party of obstruction and treason . . . I say throw the bums out come 2014! :(

    May 15, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  24. darth cheney

    Since 9//11 (2001) killed over 700 times more people, and could have been prevented if Bush had acted on the memo he read in early August of that year, while Benghazi killed only 4 and was not as preventable, then Bush should have been impeached over 700 times by Chaffetz' logic.

    May 15, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  25. ironman59

    This is why people despise the gop. Every time there is a Democrat in office they start slinging around the word Impeach. Look at all of the things under "W", daddy & uncle ronnie and the grand daddy of illegal nixon. Yet none of them were impeached. Go back to the disasters that created the Great Depression and still no impeachment proceedings. This is nothing more than some wanna be who is itching to get his name in the news.

    If the gop does attempt impeachment then it is time to turn the legal tables on them. It is time to start investigating every single gop member of congress, all of the state legislatures, gop governors even down to city hall. It is time that we take this country back from the thugs that the gop has become.

    May 15, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
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