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. Bill

    These fellas need something to do in Washington, too much idle time.

    May 15, 2013 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  2. omeany

    The GOP has been reduced to a very sad, very angry and utterly useless political party. Their hatred and obstructiveness knows no bounds and the majority of the American people are sick of it.

    May 15, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  3. Mario

    The Republican party is corrupt, racist, homophobic, incompetent, and a joke. If Obama wakes up five minutes late for work they want to impeach him. He hasn't done anything that would justify impeachment, unlike the previous President that lied to start a war and got thousands of people killed. The Republican party reflects the absolute worst qualities of America and should be replaced with a party that is actually willing to do something besides looking for anything to sabotage Obama's presidency.

    May 15, 2013 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  4. Danko Ramone

    What ridiculous posturing. Bush lied to create an entire war and there was no impeachment proceedings launched from either side of the political spectrum.

    May 15, 2013 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  5. JJ

    It's like an onion; the more the layers come off the more it stinks.

    May 15, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  6. Mario

    The Republican party is a pathetic joke, they'd vote to impeach Obama if he showed up 5 minutes late for work.

    May 15, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  7. Vicki

    I'd like to impeach the GOP that has acted in the most anti-American way since President Obama was elected. Their obstruction and their agenda to say no to everything for the good of this country is despicable. Now with this sequester more of the programs that help the poor are on the chopping block and it is all because of the GOP and their determination to make cuts that will hurt Meals on Wheels, Head Start and just about every good program that helps the needy and the disabled. The republicans can try but we the people support President Obama and we won't stand for their treachery toward President Obama.

    May 15, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  8. Anonymous

    My God. I know this is not the representative of all the people of Utah. But how in Gods name was he elected?

    May 15, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  9. Frank

    Who cares. More jobs.

    May 15, 2013 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  10. rrock

    Is this some kind of joke. You would think the Republicans would have better things to spend their time on, oh wait, they don't.

    May 15, 2013 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  11. philabias

    Thats the best possible outcome , so there is no way in He II it could ever happen. His entire tennor has been a hoodlems frayra, i cant believe americans where ever stupid enough to elect this low life left winged trash to any office much less PREZ, wow America find a mirror and stare for a while maybe you will find something left that isnt corrupt!

    May 15, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  12. ljj

    Not gonna happen! CNN even posted an article today that shows the UNEDITED email to the White House. It said nothing of changing talking points for political reasons, as was claimed previously in the leaked version. Turns out that leaked email was edited to suit the story of a cover up, and was not even close to what the real email said! Neither Obama or Clinton did anything wrong. Furthermore, it was REPUBLICANS WHO CUT FUNDING for embassies, etc just weeks before this!!! So if anyone should be held accountable for the lack of security that could have prevented Benghazi, it should be them!!!

    May 15, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  13. Soothsayer

    I wonder if any Republicans known what qualifies as impeachment? Do they even know what the word means?

    May 15, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  14. Minnie

    Im so sick and tired of these people Republican impeach y'all self. When George Bush was in office he screwed up all the time wasn't being straightforward. I don't care what u all say it's a race issue for real.

    May 15, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  15. Sadie

    This is way more worthy of impeachment than what Clinton did. The lies and deceit and the delays and denials that cost these treasured American lives are Obama's matter how you slice it. Just watch the recaps and the dates of all his conversations that took place. I can't believe that there are still 37% of Americans that are so ignorant that they don't understand what they are seeing and hearing...unless they just don't understand English!

    May 15, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  16. Dawn

    IF They impeach Obama then Bush HAS to be! Also the Republican Party must also be investigated for cutting MILLIONS of dollars in funding for embassy security – in the first place – even though they were warned against it! The blame for this lays at their feet! It's semantics to be arguing about if someone called it a terrorist attack or an accident! I didn't realize that reputable news sites – like CNN, ABC were also mouth pieces for FOX! Move on to more important stories!

    May 15, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  17. Name willard

    No excuse. Presdient obama what happened about leak nation security at white house
    White house can't win

    May 15, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  18. Teej

    Your base is conspiracy theoried exponentially and everyone else is tired of this nonsense. Go to work. Create some jobs already!!

    May 15, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  19. Henry

    IIf the pubs try to impeach President Obama, the Dems ought to try to charge the conservative Republicans with treason. These people owe their loyalty to major corporations, not to the people of the US

    May 15, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  20. 2ForTea

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz won't rule out impeachment because, look.. GW/Cheney started a war based on a fabricated threat of WMD's (i.e. they lied).. a war where thousands and thousands of inocent citizens were slaughted... did Rep. Jason Chaffetz talk of impeaching (or better yet, imprisoning) Bush/Cheney? Not bloody likely. He's a scum sucking GOP.

    May 15, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  21. Loggan44

    We should impeach all the Republicans. They are the ones starting all the wars and causing most of our country's issues.

    May 15, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  22. Dave

    What incredible gall this individual has. Where was he during the W Bush administration? Wake up and smell the roses you political hack.

    May 15, 2013 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  23. Bob

    Really? Impeachment for making bad decision.. being over cautious in their statement? Hind-sight is 20/20, we have a lot of political figures who made fatal mistakes for the country and none of them were impeached. Nixon's action was criminal and Obama's action was flawed, a big difference.

    May 15, 2013 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  24. andrew skeens

    We need a strong and clear cut leadership in oval office. Yes we can to make the world a better place for all to co-exist, but when we know a attack is underway in any shape or form our president should act without mercy! Not cover it up for his own failure or is adminstrations fault! We the people want blunt truth for once from our president!

    May 15, 2013 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  25. john

    “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.”


    May 15, 2013 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
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