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. Franky

    The GOP should be disbanded before their obsession was cute but now it's just getting annoying.

    May 14, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  2. Steve

    It's not what you are seeking, or the end game, yet 5 years ago Republicans were saying their number one goal was defeating President Obama. The statement itself should have disqualified the Republican party from representation in a democracy. It sounds like a coup. Now the GOP is lying again. Watch this grow. For all the wrong reasons.

    May 14, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. Kurt

    Ha! Here we go again. It worked so well for the Rrpublicans last time that Clinton is one of our most beloved politicians, and Ken Starr....well....

    May 14, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. Jay

    So we don't impeach over WMD that did not exist but this should be. I get it two wrongs do not make a right but this is clearly political, a waste of tax payers money, and smoke and mirrors to keep everyone's attention at being divided. They don't want you to focus on the fact these people that we elect simply can't get along and do their jobs. They do nothing.

    May 14, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  5. hatemail

    This is what happens when you play nice with republicans. Bush sent out the troops to expose the NOC CIA operative Valarie Plame in order to punish her husband for telling the truth about the Uranium from Africa lie.
    What did Pelosi do? "Impeachment is off the table" for high treason.
    Obama tries to defuse a crisis and what do we get? Republicans are going to undo the election! Time for some payback. OBama, arrest Cheney for high treason and violation of the Internal Security Act of 1947 as amended in 1996, put him on trial and HANG HIM.
    Next time the republicans will be a little better behaved!

    May 14, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  6. TexTeacher

    Impeachment? Here we go again, those Republicans just don't get it.

    May 14, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  7. Tom Hartman

    OMG Republicans should impeach themselves...this is the kind of nonsense that lost them the last TWO elections lol

    May 14, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  8. Mike Texoma

    Chaffetz needs to get his brain to working before he puts his mouth in gear. There is going to be some serious blowback from this foolishness.

    May 14, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  9. NameAlbrit

    Impeachment to Obama?,Yes!,but first bring Bush to face a Criminal War Trial,Ok.....There are a lot of work to do, don't waste taxpayers money playing Circus

    May 15, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  10. widow

    If it is "only" a political game and you have nothing to hide then let it out? Why keep holding people's mouths shut? Why tapping and listening and recording and stealing info from the AP? These are things communist countries do. We all know that every government lies to a certain extent to it's people.. But this is a huge lie and a huge disregard for 4 Americans lives and the right their families have to know the truth. Getting caught up in a lie and then continuing to lie after the fact nd actively cover it up and get caught doing it then telling the public personally and through Carney pulling an officer Barbrady "nothing to see here, move along" BS... It is pretty pathetic

    May 15, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  11. Tanya

    Bush should have been the one impeached. The way he messed up this country and stole everyone's 401K, and caused the housing market to crash!

    May 15, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. Andyx3s

    There is no legal merit to impeach Barack because he took every measure possible to insure security in Libya. Barack was never involved in illegal activity like Richard Nixon. This impeachment ordeal is nothing more than political mud slinging.

    May 15, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Jason Chaffetz and the Republicans was ask by the State Department for more funding for the Embassy to provide better security. The wall surround the Embassy had a hole in big enough that you could drive a car through but yet Jason Chaffetz said no to better security but now he want to use the President for his failure. By not approving the funding, I think Jason Chaffetz and the rest that was on the committee set the Ambassador and the other 3 in greater danger with the greater probability to get kill. What do you think America. Did Jason Chaffetz do his job when came to protecting the Ambassador and the 3 men who kill at Benghazi ?

    May 15, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  14. Tanya

    Chaffetz, that name don't even sound American, what ship did his family roll in here from?

    May 15, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. Russell

    yaaaaaawwwwwnnnn . . . . hmmmm where is everyone . . . . are his 15 minutes over already? did I miss the show? oh well . . .

    May 15, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  16. J.C.

    I wonder if this Rep. would have sought impeachment for Pres. Bush over the nonexistent WMDs? Oops,I forgot. This Rep. is a Republican. My bad...

    May 15, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  17. Name Annie

    I understand that it's politics. But let's get real. The Republicans are out to destroy President Obama. They want to discredit everything he has done. And yes let's add how they are going after Mrs Clinton. This is a ploy to stop her before for the 2016 presidential campaign. And now with the IRS scandal and the problems with AP. they want to blame the President. My personal thought is this. Not everyone working in key positions in federal jobs are Dem. all of this could be a set up by the Tea Party, Repunlicans at the IRS, AP, etc.. When a caged animal has been caged for years. That animal when set free will do everything it can to destroy everything and everyone that it feels responsible for it being in the cage. President Obama is real. I truly believe people will do anything for a price

    May 15, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  18. jeff jones

    Watergate? Really? If it is illegal to misinterpret "intelligence" what about Iraq? I read these articles and fail to see any advantage the administration gained from the "talking points". What is the motive? Oh! It must be Obama is a Muslim and encouraged the attacks so he could look good with ...(lost my train of thought since it is so stupid!).

    May 15, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  19. cm74130

    Seems to me the prosecutors are way short of a smoking gun. More like blowing smoke so far. Seems a little early to be using the I-word. (Maybe the first Republican to use it will be the 2016 nominee?) And what is the alleged offense? "Politicizing"? Who in Washington is exempt from that charge?

    May 15, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  20. Hiphopapotomus

    Oh yeah GOP? You want impeachment? Even though Obama let Bush and Cheney pass on far worse? Do that and I say Democrats go after Darth Cheney and Bush for war crimes. Republicans – they're incompetent at governance, and have to continually go to the gutter. The GOP is bringing down the USA. Like an anchor around Uncle Sam's neck.

    May 15, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  21. Richard Larson

    If Chaffetz is really interested in the truth, he would quit swallowing hook, line, and sinker, the obviously tampered e-mail being passed around by individuals who have absolutely zero interest in the truth, lead by their liar in chief, Darrell Issa and his acolytes, and ask CNN for their copy of the original, which completely absolves the president of cover-up, or any other kind of subterfuge. Problem is, Chaffetz is pathologically unable to believe anyone who isn't a GOP radical to tell him his version of the truth.

    May 15, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  22. i_know_everything

    oh just bring it

    May 15, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  23. cm74130

    Oh, it's a better charge than that: "Lack of openness and transparency." I'm sure President Obama is not the only President ever to promise transparency and provide something less.

    May 15, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  24. Richard Larson

    Biggest problem Chaffetz has with an impeachment, when you are presenting evidence, you are sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Not your personal version of the truth, the factual truth. The Repubs know that and it causes wiser heads to prevail.

    May 15, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  25. Evergreen

    Still trying to make the President a one term president. If you cant win the election then try to steal it. Pathetic.

    May 15, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
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