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. Bently

    Republicans have tried retelling this story how many times?

    May 14, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. MF

    Why should they rule it out? Especially when all signs point to Obama knowing what was going on. And h=if he didn't, he should be impeached for pure incompetence

    May 14, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. DENNA

    Wow. You can always depend on the GOP to waste tax payer money trying to run a duly elected Democratic president out of office. Yes, please, go ahead. You will pretty much guarantee the torching of the next GOP presidential candidate, especially if you run that clown car parade you ran before.

    May 14, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. Ualv

    Look! I'm so powerful! I am an elected state rep!! I have the power to bring down presidents and send whole governments crashing to the ground or at least get my fifteen minutes of fame before I slink back off to the nowhere I came from...

    May 14, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  5. Teamski

    Good luck with that!

    May 14, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    Right it's not something you're seeking. You're a liar the GOP has been looking for a reason to impeach him from the day he was first elected.

    I'm beginning to hate this country. Truly.

    May 14, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. The Bopper

    Proving time after time WHY republicans can't win the big contests, you have to be NUTS to run for office as one.

    May 14, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. CaptiveAudience

    It started with the Bush Administration but Conservatives defended his power grab. Then the Obama pushed the envelope and Democrats defend him. Nobody in any of our branches of government represents us. Any piece of legislation with even the slightest possibility of giving any more power to government or its agencies should be fought regardless of the political party, agency or circumstance. Once you give them power they will never give it back.

    May 14, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  9. DB

    How many red flags need to be raised before the Democratic team members feel there may be something wrong with this President. He is NOT the GOD that everyone was lead to believe. There are to many red herings that are surfacing from his citizenship, past records, wife's records, rumors of being racist, voter fraud in both first and second elections, massive voter fraud in the states that carried him, then Bengazi, and now the IRS scandal. How many more things have to happen before anyone starts to question THIS man. God only knows we blamed GWB for enough that is for sure. When do we make this MAN responsible for his actions and results, after he is out of office? America needs to wake up.

    May 14, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  10. Boon

    I think that the GOP should start impeachment proceedings against the president. This would assure them of being thrown out of office for the next 25 years. Here is a new idea for them, how about working with the president to help solve some of our problems instead of x

    May 14, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. T

    .........sure..............and repeal Obamacare too..............

    May 14, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. dj

    The sad part of an impeachment process would be to see Biden become President...Just as bad...

    May 14, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. Matthew Dixon

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz is obviously an idiot who needs to find an exercise bike and read history while he is on it.

    May 14, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Guesst

    “Look, it's not something I'm seeking,”
    Pffff, sure your not. Unbelievable. Go ahead conservatives, keep at it. This will be the end of you.

    May 14, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  15. SecrtSqurll

    Reasonable people understand you can call the attack something until you know for sure what it is. In a situation like that: hostile environment, not being able to investigate, mass chaos you need to know for sure. With all the idiocy surrounding those protests over that film, there was no way to know for sure. It's pure political, and the majority of Americans know it.

    May 14, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  16. James Klimaski

    Obviously, Rep Chaffetz has never read the U.S. Constitution concerning impeachment of the President. He simply uses the word so he can get national press and CNN proves him right on that count. I find many things that the Obama Administration has done that I disagree with, but nothing that is an impeachable offense. The Republicans plan to create gridlock for the remained of Obama's term, the Country be damned. That is truly unAmerican.

    May 14, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  17. Boboz

    Oh for heaven's sake! A mistake was made. It happens. Bush made a worse mistake getting us into the Iraq war for false reasons and many more Americans have died as a result.
    Impeach Obama? Don't be ridiculous.

    May 14, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  18. wut?!?

    "Chaffetz first said impeachment could be an option in an interview published Monday by the Salt Lake Tribune."

    It makes you wonder how much lower the teapublicans can go when they and their party are already the laughing stock of the entire world. Nobody but themselves take them seriously. Impeachment . . . what a joke! Let them have their sick "fun" before the 2014 elections because after that most of them won't be around.

    May 14, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. judith

    Based on what? Chaffetz is a right-wing extremist trying to make a name for himself.

    May 14, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  20. Eric

    Is this guy kidding? Where was the impeachment talk when we had a president that trumpeted information that was later proven to be false and manufactured that led us into an unnecessary war that resulted in the death of many innocent soldiers? This republican and all others from his party need to shut their mouths and try to make this country better for all people instead of trying to destroy the middle class and distract us by focusing on minor situations while they do nothing to work with others to make things better.

    May 14, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Cyprustree

    What a JOKE! If you wanted to impeach a president, how about going Bush for starting an illegal war? There were THOUSANDS of lives lost and billions of dollars spent so this clown could "finish his Daddy's bidness". All he did was cost the lives of our troops and civilians in Iraq. If the GOP thinks this is fine, then what is their obsession with Benghazi? This was NOT a war started illegally. He says "he wants the truth". WHY wasn't that important for the previous administration?? Oh, I know why, because it was the GOP and THEY can do whatever they want to, as they are obviously above the law.

    May 14, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  22. Mario

    HAHA...if they want to impeach President Obama, they should put him in line behind former President Bush for all that behind the scenes shenanigans in the run up to the Iraq War.

    May 14, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  23. Chris24

    Sure, lets waste time and money and not get anything done for the next four years. That is BS! Do your jobs!

    May 14, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  24. danielle brigandi

    yes,impeachment is a good idea,we have been lied to.long enough.

    May 14, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  25. Victor

    Chaffetz is an attention-seeking toad if he thinks impeachment is even a remote possible. There is no there there.

    May 14, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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