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. Cynthia

    When will they impeach GWB already?

    4000+ US soldiers, 1xxx?+ unofficial uncounted contractors, 20K?+ wounded, 100K+ Iraqis, and how many trillion dollars?

    May 15, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  2. Americana

    What about Bush and Iraq? The WMD? Should've called an impeachment card there.

    May 15, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  3. flyonthewall


    May 15, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  4. Pete

    Blah blah blah. This has been turned into so much of a stupid political sideshow you'll have a snowballs chance in hell of impeaching him. I'd like a budget please.

    May 15, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  5. biglio

    Republicans are not only pathetic, they are in the realm of the ridicule.......start working for the people that elected you instead of keeping to make Obama your obsession......I will not thank God enough that Romney didn't win, can you imagine what America would have been with a Gop president and this crazy congress?

    May 15, 2013 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  6. NyteShayde

    ...and the embassy security budget cuts made by the Republicans had NOTHING to do with that. The current budget cuts for embassy security from the current sequester that the Republicans chest pounded about recently wouldn't have anything to do with what might happen in the near future.

    New Slogan for the GOP: "The Buck Passes Here"

    May 15, 2013 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  7. Pete

    Whatever. This has no chance of happening. It's been turned into such a political soap opera that it has a snowballs chance in heck of actually occurring. I'd like a budget please.

    May 15, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  8. truthbtolledude

    typical slimy, self-serving republican. he couldn't even dream of the level of integrity of a man like Obama, and yet he brings up this revolting idea of impreachment, politicizing this american tragedy. he is a disgrace to america, and one of the reasons there is so little true moral fiber left in our land. a sick, sorry, little man is this phoney Chaffetz. I'll just bet his wife knows who he really is and cannot for the life of her figure out what to do about her big mistake. Impeach him? Or just dream of a real man, like the President.

    May 15, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  9. No support

    This Mormon thinks he should be the next president. Ever tried contacting him? No, he won't talk to anyone but the press. Hope they find all the dirt on him soon.

    May 15, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  10. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    Chaffetz is an arrogant putz! He's a desperate, angry little man who keeps shouting "look at me, look at me!"

    America, please listen to a grown-up who doesn't have a self-serving agenda.

    May 15, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  11. Dejavu65

    Impeachment?......these Republicans are a joke, get over it you lost the election...they care nothing about the average citizens in this country....The reality is they just can't get over the fact Obama is another color than them...Sad how deep these politicians are with their racism,......If there was ever a president to impeach it would have been Bush..but they did not care he was a good ole boy....Bush screwed the economy and ended up having thousands of soldiers killed for no reason but it did not bother them at all.

    May 15, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  12. Namevoneisha washington

    Its not like the pres wanted it to happen it was through on his plate yall need to be mad at or the people who are doing this things help the pres. To stop these things concentrate on that

    May 15, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  13. fandancy

    I've voted for Republican candidates in the past. Never again. They have become so extreme they're no longer even worth considering.

    May 15, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  14. MB

    Please, please bring on the impeachment... After the backlash, our country will be so much better off after the Republicans drown in their own swill...

    May 15, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  15. Homer10

    Oh for crying out loud. The Republicons are getting ready to shoot them selves in the foot again. This will garentee their loss in 2014.

    May 15, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  16. Jim

    It seems that when Nixon covered up the Watergate breakin, that no one was killed, but it was enough
    to bring down the POTUS. Benghazi did cost lives, an Ambassador, plus another diplomat, and 2 navy
    seals. And I believe Obama engineered the whole false story from the start, because he was fearful that the
    truth would cost him the election. So the coverup was worse than Watergate, and cost 4 lives, so
    what should the punishment be for Benghazi?? The IRS debacle, and the AP incidents, are further examples of
    the depravity our Sr executive branch has reached.

    May 15, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  17. Ahhh Sheit Midrauers

    Ridiculous! They will find the biggest bull crap to impeach a Democratic President over. We should say this will be bad for the GOP during election year because they got away with it before

    May 15, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  18. Rico J

    Can we impeach congress? lol

    May 15, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  19. BrianOC7

    So let's see...Kill an American abroad and you topple the government of the United States of America. Good thinking Republicans. That should make all of our diplomats around the world nice and safe.

    May 15, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |

    Well, I see there is lot of talk and no actions.

    May 15, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  21. Texas

    Why don't you Republicans come up with some good ideas? Blame only yourself if you can't get your candidate elected.

    May 15, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  22. Jennifer

    Shouldn't they been doing something productive??? Instead of poking around a CIA issue...

    May 15, 2013 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  23. carloooos

    Jason Get a grip fpr Gods sake....

    May 15, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  24. Roy J

    Republican politicians: "Can't make ourselves look good, so we'll just make other's look bad." These useless Republicans don't care about the nation. Their only goal is to make sure Obama doesn't succeed. Disgusting.

    May 15, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  25. socalgal

    Treason...impeachment...both 4 years too late.

    May 15, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
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