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. Winky

    A shame that America hates men and women of color after all we've done for this country! Built this country thru slavery on our backs still can't get a thank you! That's why America will fall to its knees!

    May 15, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |

    Lots of politicians yapping and no action.

    You voted for this administration. You get what you deserve. Congrats on this great corruption. Let's sweep it under the carpet so we can make more room for 2016-2024 Clinton's presidency. All you fellow americans liberals keep following like sheep the wolves disguised in sheep skin. You get what you deserve my brainwashed liberal sheep. Blaaaaaa, blaaaaaa

    May 15, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  3. nunya

    yes, Chaffetz, your not striving for it, because it would not happen.. Your playing polotics as usual and the American People are tired of it... Repukedagains are on the decline! Move over Texas, your getting your turn at turning Blue again...

    May 15, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  4. Paladin Knight

    It would be more than stupid and insane to try to impeach Obama, especially with the makeup of Congress. There wouldn't be enough votes for that to happen in the Senate. It would be futile at best. And then if they did succeed at impeaching Obama, who would be our next president? That answer would be VP Joe Biden.

    May 15, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  5. apstar

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz should find something useful to do with his high-paying job as a representative other than waste time on party politics. I'm sure his constituents would be happy to replace him next election with someone looking out for their interests instead of going on a witch hunt. If the GOP would put its collective energy into working to get some meaningful legislation passed instead of nearly always blocking anything that isn't purely along their party lines, perhaps something beneficial could still come out of Congress.

    May 15, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  6. J Dawg

    Please do this...

    May 15, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Another colossal waste of time...

    May 15, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  8. ney

    Over 4000 U.S. soldiers died in Irak over WMD (?), it cost about a trillion dls. And over 400,000 Irakians dead. Did we learned? What is an American Embassador doing in the middle of the Libian war? Where lets face it, shiiat or sunni, they are going to shot at anything that is American, it is no brainer... UN must be in charge of fixing this issue. For an American soldier to interced is sending them to their deaths.

    May 15, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  9. Gracey

    I hate to say it but I agree that the option for impeachment should not be taken off the table.
    The arrogance and stupidity of this administration and President is eye opening. We will definitely be paying the price for their mistakes for some time to come.
    The American people deserve the truth ALWAYS.

    May 15, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  10. CavPilot

    The proceedings for Nixon were initiated on less evidence.

    May 15, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  11. 111Dave111

    Since when is the 'tea party' a tax-exempt charity?

    May 15, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  12. William

    Waaaaa Waaaa we lost the election, GOP ONLY cares about the GOP (Get Obama's Presdidency).

    May 15, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  13. John

    Okay, impeach him.. Then you get Biden, who Republicans hate even more.

    May 15, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  14. tc

    Another way to waste tax payers money. Quit with the partisan games and start helping the people you're acting like children. I pay your salary, pension and health & welfare in addition to many other perks. Start earning your keep.

    May 15, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  15. markr

    Are the Republicans this stupid? They will be, again, the laughing stock of DC. They can bring up articles of impeachment all they want, and waste more time avoiding their real responsibilities, but such foolishness will go nowhere. God help us from such foolish children.

    May 15, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |

    Gonna love hearing about this the next three years as Hillary ramps up her campaign for a whitehouse run.

    I'm already sick of it.

    Maybe if these republicans cared about all the people they are killing by "freeing the job creators from regulation" as much as the victims in Benghazi, the country would be in a better place.

    May 15, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  17. Truth Speaker

    Puh-leeze. At least a dozen U.S. Embassies and U.S. Consulates were attacked during George W. Bush's presidency with dozens of people killed and no one held him accountable for any of it, and now they are all looking to skewer Obama over just this one incident. Let's not forget whose watch 9-11 happened on, people. Remember Condoleeza Rice trying to downplay having overlooked a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Within the United States."

    Perspective, people. The Bush administration is 1000% more guilty of this than Obama. Where was this outrage then?

    May 15, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  18. ultra

    haha. good luck.

    May 15, 2013 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  19. Larry

    Regardless of their imagined reasons for talking about this its only going to come off as cry babies having a tantrum. They tried it with Bill Clinton and now with Obama it just seems like them saying "IF we cant be in charge well show you"

    May 15, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  20. AntiChrist

    So lets see they want to consider impeaching the president. That way Biden will become president and kick their a ss. All to discredit a black president and his party. Yet the country has enough problems and needs the help of both parties. Wow we really have got a hum dinger of a political representation don't we. Maybe we should require each politician to live off of 10k a year and then act like they are suffering from no pay raises.

    May 15, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  21. LouieD

    I don't rule out popping Jason Caffetz in the mouth, either. Look, it's not something I'm seeking; I'm just saying it's within the realm of possibility since he wrongly thinks he's enough of a big shot to throw barely-veiled threats at the President.

    May 15, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  22. The fact of the matter

    "… a political sideshow... " Now that the administration has found a spiffy catch-phrase they'll milk it unmercifully.,

    May 15, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  23. 111Dave111

    Annual deficits are falling even faster than the Congressional Budget Office predicted back in February. And the country's total debt is set to fall as share of the economy.

    May 15, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  24. vidal808

    Of course those idiotic Repubs would like to impeach President Obama.....Good luck you morons....waste your time instate of working for the people and passing meaningful shows your mind set and proves my point: Get rid of all Republicans in 2014.!

    May 15, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  25. Karmageddon

    These Repubs are a national disgrace. You lost the election... Take it like a man and try again next time – don't tear the country apart with your B.S. What a bunch of cry babies.

    May 15, 2013 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
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