Chaffetz doesn’t rule out impeachment for Obama
May 14th, 2013
08:46 PM ET
11 months 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. Blaine

    Republican grandstanding. Now each one trying to outdo the other. What is next? Public lynching of the President? "Hey, nothing is off the table."

    May 15, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  2. purdue pete

    “What we have here with one issue, in Benghazi, is so clearly … a political sideshow, a deliberate effort to politicize a tragedy,”

    Oh, God FORBID someone try to politicize a tragedy.... I guess newtown doesn't ring a bell to this idiot.

    May 15, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  3. Johnny 5

    Obama should have been impeached during his first term. Obama brought a shovel to the white house on day one, and started digging this country into a hole it will never get out of. Obama makes Nixon look like Mr Wonderful.

    May 15, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  4. Keel Hauler

    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."

    Enough already. It doesn't matter WHY it was done.

    May 15, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  5. Drew

    How utterly ridiculous. Can the GOP become any more clownish or cartoonish? I just have to laugh.

    May 15, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  6. Sam Sainju

    With this kind of rhetoric republicans are digging their own grave.

    May 15, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  7. Fielding Mellish

    The GOP offers nothing but the ability to waste our time.

    May 15, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  8. KAS

    Let the games begin! There wasn't a single question, let alone an investigation, for why the Bush administration refused repeated requests by troops on the ground when they were in hot pursuit of Bin Laden in Tora Bora. These requests spanned almost 3 days and not one single extra soldier was sent in to help block Bin Laden's escape and as a direct result the world's most wanted terrorist was allowed to roam free for a decade.

    To add to his incompetence, Bush then called Bin Laden irrelevant.

    So tell me Rep. Chaffetz, where was the impeachment for Bush for letting a known terrorist, the person who helped mastermind the largest terrorist attack on this nation, get away by refusing to send in more troops despite repeated, pleading, requests from troops on the ground? Why the cover up and where was the investigation?

    May 15, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. Odo

    “Look, it's not something I'm seeking,”
    ======================
    BULL!! The GOP have done nothing but try to make Obama a failure. If they worked as hard for the American people as they do trying to tarnish a good man we'd all be in a much better place.

    May 15, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. Odo

    “Look, it's not something I'm seeking,”
    ======================
    LIAR!! The GOP have done nothing but try to make Obama a failure. If they worked as hard for the American people as they do trying to tarnish a good man we'd all be in a much better place.

    May 15, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Patrick Henry

    Shows how really frightened the Republicans are. They said the same about Roosevelt

    May 15, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. Boov

    Is Benghazi a scandal yet? No, it isn't. But they're sure trying their hardest to make it one.

    May 15, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. al

    So typical of the republicans any more. They can't win an election because of their positions on issues so they do all they can to obstruct government and do all they can to hurt the people of this country rather than do their jobs.

    May 15, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  14. Tom Legare

    “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.” This idiot wouldn't know the truth if it hit him in the face! What a laugh to think the repub nuts have a lock on any truth!!

    May 15, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. HowlinWolves

    Oh PLEASE give me a break. The Republicans have all but stated that their endgame is to ruin Obama's second term. ALL the Republicans care about is getting back into office. They don't care one bit about the country and its people. So a couple of things have come up during Obama's presidency. Big deal. Address them. Solve them...and move on. Let the president run the country for crying out loud. What about Bush's false claims of WMD in Iraq? Why was there no investigation? What about Cheney, former president of Halliburton, giving Halliburton billions of dollars in contracts? The list goes on and on. I used to be Republican. Now I'm too embarrassed by this ridiculous party who keep spouting idiotic things and who's agenda is clearly nothing more than getting back in office even if it means ruining the country. Impeachment.....that's is just beyond ridiculous.

    May 15, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  16. Parfin Woodell

    Another GOP fishing expedition that will fail.
    Still mad you couldn't find that fake birth certificate ?

    May 15, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  17. Brian

    Gee, like no one saw this coming. If you can't beat 'em, impeach 'em. Bush let's 9/11 happen and NOTHING happened...except two wars.

    May 15, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  18. Thinkergal

    Oh, good grief. Chaffetz and the rest of the Repubs need to grow up. I still remember the ridiculous sight of a fat little Hassert waddling over to the Senate to deliver the articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton. The country viewed it as political silliness, and is rapidly reaching the same conclusion in this situation. Americans generally do not like having our electoral choices second-guessed by phony-baloney know-it-allness.

    May 15, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. Ryan

    Oh come on. I'm no supporter of Obama but impeachment over this would be stupid. Then again I thought impeachment over an affair was dumb, too. The only President ever worthy of impeachment was Richard Nixon. This guy is not a good President, but impeachment is something that should be reserved for criminal acts, not policy/partisan problems.

    May 15, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  20. Ryan

    Kelcy, I'm not a fan of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, but to call them "illegal" is without merit. Congress voted, and both Democrats and Republicans decided.

    May 15, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  21. Retired3

    Impeach Obama??? Then why not Bush and Cheney???

    May 15, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. Just a Guy

    The GOP can "rebrand" all they want, but they clearly still don't get it. They are chewing on Benghazi like a dog chewing a bone with no meat. Give it up already and try to get something real accomplished.

    May 15, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. MazeAndBlue

    Here we go again. Instead of dealing with our economy, budget, Presidential appointments and Middle East issues. We will spend time and money on nothing. Get over it. Five years of republican tea party nonsense. Clinton was impeachment was a joke. Tea Party obstructionists and extremism will not work. They will do anything to bring down our President. Clinton 2016!!!!!! YES

    May 15, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. WillB

    And now we know that someone who "leaked" the emails to the press, also altered them first. Wonder who? Wonder Why? If it was a Republican, that would be worth knowning.

    May 15, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. us_1776

    GOP, you're a shrinking violet.

    Why, because you do stupid stuff like this that alienates nearly every group in the country.

    .

    May 15, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
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