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. Dave

    I'm not interested in Benghazi. I'm not interested in the IRS. I'm not interested in the AP. I'm not interested in immigration reform. I AM interested in jobs and the economy. Is there anyone anywhere who wants to represent me?

    May 15, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. James Honolulu

    Much ado about nothing; more like a waste of money paying the salaries of some representatives who will not do their job and create controversy. His well covered health plan should take care of that rounded middle he is creating.

    May 15, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. AD

    Obama thinks he's above the law. Why should we be surprised from an Alinsky disciple. All means are available to vanquish political opponents in his view even if it breaks the law. Even if it gets 4 people killed. Even if it means he has to fabricate a story and pitch it to the public. Even if it means he trashes the Constitution. He runs the govt. like a mob, using backdoor extortion. He's created a culture of bullying.

    He ran guns across the Border in Fast and Furious and one of our border patrol agents was killed with those guns. That patrol agent's fate was the same as the 4 in Libya, and the Admin. doesn't give a damn.

    May 15, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Larry in Houston

    wow cnn – that truly is a "party" that keeps on giving !! lol – – – this "impeachment" thing, is something I've heard ever since Nixon was potus. – – how many actually got impeached ? besides, you'd figure they would be thinking that they would be "Trying" to win elections, not losing. lol – – what a story ! guess they must be still doing "rove" math. lol

    May 15, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. nofaithinamericanpoliticians

    Let's Impeach ALL of the Republicans and Democrats and start over. What we have is all Corporate Banking Wall Street cronies of the 1% out to destroy all working people.

    May 15, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. AD

    Hillary and Biden voted for the same war - they saw the same intelligence that Bush did.

    May 15, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Brandon

    Didnt the democrats support the war in Iraq??? OHHHHH yea thats right they did... that argument is squashed now. Obama is finished and I will love when it happens... :)

    May 15, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. ted

    The Lord works in mysterious ways.

    Thank you Jesus!

    May 15, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Brad

    This appeals to the "Rabid Right' but the Repub's just keep digging thier hole deeper with average American.

    May 15, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Data Driven

    @Brad,

    You still gotta prove there was a "cover-up", guy. See the news yesterday? The content of the supposedly damaging email from the White House, which was supposed to demonstrate evidence of a cover-up, was shown to be completely mischaracterized. The email was released yesterday. Look it up. And keep up.

    May 15, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Anthony

    Chaffetz is the same Republican who admitted that the House, which controls spending, had voted to cut funding for embassy security since Republicans took over the House in 2010. Chaffetz, like so many of his colleagues, is completely shameless. Republicans created the problem, but they want to blame the problem on Democrats.

    May 15, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Honestly?

    I am so sick of this garbage. Everyday I'm given a reason by the republicans to never vote for them again. Every damn day. Stop wasting our money on BS accusations and hearings and start doing your damn jobs. I'm down right ticked off.

    May 15, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Jinx9to88

    They didnt impeach Bush for what him and Cheney did, good luck trying to impeach Obama.

    May 15, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. John Petz

    any attempt to impeach Obama over Benghazi will destroy whatever goodwill is left in Wash DC. Right now its all right wing bluster since they have not proven any wrongdoing and chances are they never will. But given the rabid right wing hatred for this president, the potential for drawing up impeachment proceedings remains. If you cannot win the WH then you try to destroy the winner – that's the mantra of this hateful House GOP.

    May 15, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Shane

    Are you all kidding me? so we are talking about one thing and all you want to do is bring up the past. I now know why you all voted for Obama. Your worse then him but trying to change the topic to Bush in order to Distract yourself from the truth. the idiot you voted for is not who he said he was.

    Its sad when little puppets wont open there eyes to see the truth around them.

    Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a Stone" (John 8: 7)

    WHAT?????

    May 15, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Andres

    Please, impeach the President over Benghazi? They can't stand the fact that they lost the elections and will keep losing since they have no way or getting a grip on minorities. Such a conservative party will have to change, transform or dye.

    May 15, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Cephus

    Impeachment for what? What has he done wrong except that the far left liberals have thrown him under the train! While Abusing the power bestowed on them by the offices they occupy. I said and I will say again immoral behavior is destroying the world or should we wait for the planet sun to roast us all? I love you brothers and sisters but repent, repent, repent and may be The Lord will have mercy on us. We are holding the last part of the rope and I'm getting tired of pleading with you people.

    May 15, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. AD

    Obama is running the govt. like a mobster. Extortion rampant. I guess we should have expected that from an Alinksy disciple. The end justifies the means even if it means letting people die as in Fast and Furious and Benghazi. Even if it means trashing the Constitution, or fabricating a story and pitching it to the public.

    Of course we know Obama would never use a tragedy for political purposes, such as inviting Sandy Hook parents aboard Air Force One for a trip to lobby Congressmen for gun control.

    May 15, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. kevin

    2014 can't come soon enough

    May 15, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Stephen

    It's disappointing that a house member is unaware of what a president can actually be impeached for. Since the Benghazi situation doesn't actually fall under treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors, it's not a particularly impeachable act. Why not censure him if you're that put out over the situation. That, at least, is doable.

    May 15, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. Watchfuliiiii

    republicans were willing to do anything to win the pres election this year and are still crying about it. They are wasting Americas time and money with this witch hunt. They only have outrage against Dems and the country can be damned until they get their way. They are the most disengeious group ever. Mitch Mc said long ago that the number one thing on his agenda was to get Obama out of office. Not solve any problems. Just fight dems. Pathetic.

    May 15, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. ShaneThePain

    The only problem with impeaching King Obama would be that Joe Biden would step in. Then our country would really be screwed. Biden is the craziest left wing nut out there alongside of Bloomberg. Our country needs to have a Liberation in office to stop these crazy Dixicrats and Ripoffpublican from spending, lining their pockets and giving away all of our money to other countries. Oh wait, it’s not our money its China's money that we are paying interest on. Well at least when the Republicans were taking our money it stayed in the country. This country is a mess and the Liberals want to just rip up all shreds of what it means to be a free people and allow the Government to control every aspect of our lives, including raising our kids. That won’t fly because then they would have to rely on feeding themselves after all the farmers start selling goods only to their communities, after the Government and drained every last cent out of their pockets with all the taxes. Anyone who thinks that the rich are the only ones paying higher taxes are high themselves. Just look at the cost of produce since Obama's entered office. He is not a farmer friendly, or Middle class friendly, person. The liberals need to just keep themselves inside the city limits and continue to kill each other and stop blaming the rest of the America for their stupid ideologies. There is a reason why they are living in hell. It’s because they created a breeding ground for no morals and no respect.

    May 15, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. TheObserver

    @Brandon
    The libs are on their toes (OOOOOOOOOH, THE PLOT THICKENS!)...I love this it's wonderful. I see all of your comments...Bush this and Bush that (PROBABLY BECAUSE HE WAS A DEPLORABLE LEADER AND WERE STILL TRYING TO RECOVER FROM HIS POLICIES)... What has Obama done libysss? (BESIDES REDUCING MILITARY IN MIDDLE EAST, REDUCING UNEMPLOYMENT, STABILIZING THE STOCK MARKET, INCREASING DOMESTIC OIL AND GAS REVENUES, AND TAKING OUT OSAMA BIN LADEN AND MOST OF AL QUEDA LEADERSHIP, NOTHING MUCH I SUPPOSE) He hasnt changed ANY of bushs policies. Why not? (BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT) You are scared that your scandelous black (AHHH AND THE TRUTH OF THE ISSUE SURFACES AT LAST, YET ANOTHER "PATRIOTIC" RACIST) president is going DOWN!!! hahahaah. Your white guilt cant stop it this time...it's OVER. (SORRY TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE, BUT IF BUSH DIDN'T GET IMPEACHED FOR WAR CRIMES, SUCH AS CONDONING WATER-BOARDING, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK OBAMA IS ACTUALLY GOING TO GET IMPEACHED?)

    What you're seeing is a desperation move, a last gasp effort by the old-guard, racist, war-mongering Republicans who know their ideas are dying. It's one last rallying cry, one last lynch mob. Well guess what, lynch mobs, just like YOUR beliefs, Mr. Brandon, those went out of style a LONG TIME AGO.

    May 15, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Rob

    Obama knowingly lied to the world about Benghazi. He knew the video had nothing to do with it. In the process of telling that lie to the world he undermined our First Amendment–and certainly those of the film maker that they persecuted. Hillary is of course guitly in this too. It's digusting. It is beyond politics, it is simply unforgivable and anyone should know that. The president is sworn to protect Americans and uphold and defend the Constitution–not falsely accuse Americans and trash the Consititution. This is but one impeachable offense committed by this president.

    May 15, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    Honestly?

    I am so sick of this garbage. Everyday I'm given a reason by the republicans to never vote for them again. Every damn day. Stop wasting our money on BS accusations and hearings and start doing your damn jobs. I'm down right ticked off.
    -----–

    Co-signed.

    May 15, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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