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. Brandon

    Oh yea, obviously the democratic parties leadership is amazing I mean look at all the good they are doing....bwahahaaha

    May 15, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Al Mahany

    Just what we need. Another impeachment circus like the one with Clinton.

    May 15, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. gladiatorgrl

    This is what the American public can expect any time the GOP loses an election. Faux outrage and faux impeachments.

    May 15, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. rankershlank

    corrections: "cost thousands of lives". Typing so fast I butchered that phrase twice. Just like the Bush administration butchered all those people.

    May 15, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. buccakenji

    Impeachment of Obama puts Biden in charge. That would make Obama look like a saint. DON'T DO IT.

    May 15, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. larkwoodgirl

    The republicans are never going to learn. This is so pathetic. Their stupidity seems to be limitless.

    May 15, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. bill

    @Winky.... This is not about color... Do you really believe he has no clue what is going on everytime something happens? Carney is a broken record of saying the WH doesn't have any information. Do you really believe the POTUS is this out of touch with his administration? He's playing you all for fools and you still think this is about race. He's trying to play us all for fools. Wake up! Demand answers and when the answers are shown then we'll see who is right. You should want this as much as I do unless your happy to follow blindly... in that case, America is truly in trouble...

    May 15, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. Pete

    Chaffetz stated impeachment than we'll hand over Bush,Cheney to the ICC for hearings involving human rights indictments by over 150 other countrys but ours and they'll probibly hang for it as well just like Hitlers boys after WWII..Do Chaffetz,Issa want that on their heads as their legacies because if you do go through with this and you fail you'll reap the rewards of never being in politics again as well as facing untold pressure from government for the rest of your lives,the choice is yours shut up and drop the witch hunt or face the consequences of going against your commander in chief!!Remember you started this mess as did Bush and you can't brush something this dirty under any rug like Bush tried to do!!

    May 15, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. Name

    Fortuenetly this will go nowhere....what a waste of our taxpayer money...instead of our congress working on corporate tax loopholes and creating jobs.... what a waste the last 2 years with this congress.

    May 15, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. ellid

    And yet not a word from this distinguished gentleman about impeaching Bush, back when he blatantly, knowingly, and willfully lied to get us into a war, or Cheney, who did all the above plus aimed no-bid contracts straight at the company he used to run....

    May 15, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. GG

    Even the posterboy for the low information voter Jon Stewart is laughing at the Obama administration and his band of fools.

    May 15, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. communist47

    Impeachment is way overdue. Americans deserve better.

    May 15, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Anonymous

    There were 13 similar incidents under the Bush administration that resulted in a total of 87 people dead. Why weren't republicans trying to impeach bush for it?

    May 15, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. Larry

    Before you decide to impeach Obama for Benghazi, perhaps you should hand Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Condi over to the World Court for crimes against humanity...4400 Amercians dead for no reason, 100,000+ Iraqis killed for no reason, more than a million displaced, $1 trillion dollars and counting, a lifetime of supporting dismembered vets and the big clincher....empowering Iran, our sworn enemy by getting rid of their greatest enemy Saddam Hussein...the biggest strategic foreign policy blunder of the last 50 years. Sort of makes Benghazi look like small potatoes, doesn't it?

    May 15, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. jaylah

    This is ridiculous. I wish this guy would put as much energy into background checks for guns as he is for this thing. Honestly, I don't work in the Government or any of the intelligence agencies, but, BUT let's say they intentionally decided to rub their hands together and lie to the American public about the attack, SO FREAKIN WHAT?????? I'm sure they had a reason. Does it change anything? Maybe, just maybe, they wanted to make sure it was a terrorist attack before crying wolf to the world. As one of "The American People" that this guy keeps saying wants to know, I don't really care whether it was a terrorist attack or anger from a video. People died and that's unfortunate. He seems to care more about being lied to than about the people getting killed. Childish.

    May 15, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. NightOps

    Seriously? I voted for the competition, though I didn't like any of my options. I don't particularly care for Obama. But I still do NOT see anything worth brining up talking about "impeachment". Wow...

    May 15, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Data Driven

    MikeMongo said: "why was it an impeachable offense for Nixon to have lied about his tasking of the Watergate break-in, and it is not an impeachable offense for the sitting President to have lied about covering up a terrorist attack and lying about the true issues?"

    You still gotta prove Obama "lied" about something, guy. You had a hearing last week: nothing revealed. The White House email from Rhodes which supposedly showed the White House running a CYA campaign for State? Mischaracterized. The email was released yesterday and the content was nothing like what Republicans were saying it was. You guys are like squirrels trying to get a nut! You can bet on this, though: a nasty partisan impeachment spectacle will be disastrous for your team in 2014.

    May 15, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. Iyer

    REALLY?.. You congressmen are scoundrels!!. First take a pay cut. You got yourself exempted from the sequestretion. That is ridiculous. First do some work and put your petty politics behind. There are millions of people who are suffering for a decent daily life and the spoiled scumbag congressmen are playing politics. All the congress men should be fired if they dont try to fix tthe economic problems and just play politics. They should have performance reveiw too. They are lobbied by NRA and they don't even listen to the 90% of the americans , even the NRA members who agree on Background check for Gun licence. All they think about it how to attack Obama. Don't they have better things to do?

    May 15, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. Mack

    Wow, the scramble to bash any and every democrat in advance of the 2014/2016 elections – out of pure desperation – is on. Pure 100% politics at play. Not a single thing getting done by this ludicrous congress.

    May 15, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Obama and company always make sure their tracks are covered, and only the underlings get held responsible, for what they order them to do.

    May 15, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. REPUBLICAN ARE THE GREATEST

    IMPEACH BARACK OBAMA, Republicans are the greatest.

    May 15, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. HenryMiller

    "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.”"

    Well, Carney is actually a little bit right about this–Obama is going to get Watergated about the IRS harassment, not about Benghazi.

    "“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. "

    Oh. like what the Left did about Newtown?

    May 15, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  23. Simon

    If they impeach obama then they need to try Dick Cheney, Carl Rove, and George Bush Jr and Sr for war crimes.

    May 15, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. davehhds

    Conservative: "disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change"
    This term describes reactionary thinking, a bastardized use of the word to disguise the truth. The fact is, the GOP represents the "upper class" of this country; the affluent and powerful. They are setting the bar high now. If they get the office next, watch out!!! It would be best to lead by example, actually do something and gain some respect. I don't think there are many in the GOP that commit much thought to doing the people's work....what is that? Bash, Obstruct, Campaign...repeat...

    May 15, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  25. Scooter

    This shows the absurdity of it all..."Yes it's an impeachable something or other" What is? They don't even know what they're looking for however it is an impeachable offense. They should all be impeached for wasting our time and continuing to do nothing. November 2014 let's impeach 'em all America!!!!

    May 15, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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