Chaffetz doesn’t rule out impeachment for Obama
May 14th, 2013
08:46 PM ET
10 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.”

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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. True American

    You liberals are all the same. Uninformed with little to no facts. You blame Bush/Cheney for the Iraq war. Lets review the facts. The intelligence that was gathered was from multiple sources including other countries. Bush/Cheney did not go to war the U.S.A did with congressional approval one of which was supported by Hillary Clinton. Maybe she too should be tried for war crimes. Those WMD's seem to be showing up in Syria. A top Iraqi general for Saddam stated that the WMD's went there. What Obama has done is treason. He continues to lie to the American public and you liberals suck it as the truth. When will you learn.

    May 15, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Better "Hoof and Mouth Biden" than Obama. God save the USA.

    May 15, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |

    Impeach President Obama for what? Benghazi? This will be the biggest joke of the century that American Politicians are behaving like third world politicians with their actions on emotional thinking not logic thinking. All American Presidents have made mistakes in the past that have been overlooked for the good of the country, Why is America the greatest country in the world now being compared to China? Some may use economic indicators for comparison. But I disagree. The only reason why America is now being compared to China is because America is fast becoming a place of small minds not great thinkers. To talk of impeaching a President because of Benghazi shows that the American President can be removed at will and letting the world believe that your democracy is unstable. Therefore, what moral justification do you have to talk of sudden regime change in Africa for instance. America - the world is watching.....

    May 15, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |

    Europe and other parts of the world are battling for economic survival and in a crises situation. Yet America is busy talking down their great country. President Obama can only show good leadership to the world if both senate & him. 'America the Beautiful' means stable and democratic institutions not personalities. What is happening in America is not racism because of Black President. No other country could have elected a black except 'America the Beautiful country'. The problem right now with President Obama's presidency is that of power and greed of some politicians in both parties. The policies are affecting the rich and the high and mighty companies..... so he must be a liberal..... Of course some minority are racists but this does not represent America. American Politicians regardless of party affiliation – should 'rise up and walk ' because the world is expecting America to lead the world because of its basic principles of Freedom, equity and justice.

    May 15, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. hp

    Strike the root.

    May 15, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. Brian Nash

    This scandal, with all of the others that are hanging around like fireflies on a summer night, make me actually miss the Bush years. Wise or not, I think he was the most honest president we've had since Carter (both of their presidencies were failures in my opinion). I'll take a careless honest person over a brilliant schemer, hesitantly.

    The reason our country sucks worse that Nicholas Cage in "Ghostrider" is the partisanship. "You liberals" or "You conservatives" are the nicer references now. In the 80's, the same political spectrum existed but Congress tried to work for the good of the nation. Even more so when our country was at its pinnacle. I'm no moderate - I'm a raging libertarian, but I would still rather see civility and focus on the good of the USA than partisanship unending.

    May 15, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. Keysrat

    The Benghazi attack, IRS, AP, HHS, Immigration, Obamacare and the deficit. Need any more reasons to impeach this sorry excuse for a President. If he spent half the time he spends on vacations and golf, running this country, he might know what's going on. Instead he says he didn't know until he heard it on the NEWS. Give me a break!! Liar, Liar

    May 15, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
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