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. Mike

    Par for the republicans

    May 15, 2013 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  2. Namedaniel

    The Republican hate for Obama has gotten to a feverish point. Let the poor guy do his job the best way he knows how.

    May 15, 2013 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  3. The Fladaboscan

    If he didn't go after Bush and Cheney after all they did, he has no business impeaching Obama over a freakin- memo. This is a non-issue and the GOP and Faux News know it is. Ridiculous and one more reason they are the party of stupid.

    May 15, 2013 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  4. hypatia

    Just top the hysteira!

    May 15, 2013 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  5. Iamnotfooled

    This guy has Grandiose visions of being President someday and wants to make a name for himself. He is not succeeding. Just like the GOP are not succeeding.

    May 15, 2013 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  6. cincinnatidavid

    Find something positive to work on, Mr. Chaffetz.

    May 15, 2013 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  7. joblack

    And we won't rule out involuntary commitment for you.

    May 15, 2013 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  8. Rick

    They should impeach Obama over this but my guess is they won't because our government representatives all have a yellow streak down their backs!

    May 15, 2013 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  9. Oh


    OK, so the GOP lawmakers believe in cutting funding for the security of our embassies prior to the attack, and then feel a need to impeach the president when our embassies come under attack?

    Sounds to me like the GOP lawmakers need to be impeached so that congress can get back to the business at hand- restoring our economy.

    May 15, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  10. bob

    I bet Biden would be happy if Obama was impeached. Now lets guess the new Vice President.

    May 15, 2013 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  11. TeaPartyRacist

    Chaffetz seems to have forgotten he blew the cover of a clandistine CIA operation in Libya, but hey good job, one step closer for the Republican party becoming even less relevant in national politics.

    May 15, 2013 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  12. joesmith

    the gaddafi story goes deep, from the brits making the deal to release the bomber, to the thru that deal, getting all the oil they could, to the arab spring smoke screen, that caused the necessary the attempt to blackmarket gaddafis' weapons, ( all there were millions to be made ), and millions were made, to our ambassador being taken down because he knew what was going on, and made it known, but the $$$ was too big, so he had to go, along with anyone else who got in the way..$$$, now that story will NEVER be told..why...$$$

    May 15, 2013 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  13. Macau Guy

    Yea, good luck with that.

    May 15, 2013 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  14. Bernard obryant

    Obama aint the only one should step down it both member of congress republican and democrat runing the usa into bankrupcy . Change need to be done

    May 15, 2013 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  15. mainepotter

    Just another self-righteous GOP tempest in a teapot. Hash and rehash. Try doing something useful for a change. You may enjoy it.

    May 15, 2013 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  16. mb2010a

    An impeachment attempt by the Republicans in the House would be the final nail in the coffin of their dying party. Bring it on...

    May 15, 2013 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    There's another word for the "impeachment" of the President...CIVIL WAR! And the end of America as we know it! Make your move confederates!

    May 15, 2013 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  18. mfarena

    My sense is that the American people have had it with both parties. If they don't start cooperatively working together to solve this nation's problems, there's going to be a tremendous backlash from the voting public. Some politicians seem to be writing their own political obituaries. The voting public may be complacent, but we are not stupid. A child could figure this out.

    May 15, 2013 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  19. eleanor

    Too bad that we cannot impeach most of the current GOP members of the House for their efforts to destroy our country with their self serving continuous nonproductive abuses of power!

    May 15, 2013 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  20. Steve

    A little man who wants to be a big man. So many applicants, so few slots.

    May 15, 2013 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  21. tampajoey

    “What we have here with one issue...., is so clearly … a political sideshow, a deliberate effort to politicize a tragedy,” Jay Carney said

    I thought Carney was talking about Sandy Hook. Exploiting tragedy goes both ways Jay.

    May 15, 2013 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  22. anniebella

    I think Rep. Chaffetz better think long and hard about any impeachment. We elected this President and because they don't like the black guy they want to throw him out. If they didn't impeach Bush and Cheney for lying us into Iraq, they better not try it here. Every since President Obama was elected in 2009 these Republicans have been talking about impeachment.

    May 15, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  23. Constant Concrncitofwrld

    The Republicans are fighting their ankles in blood to destroy the Obama Administration.

    What happens when you make your own ankles bleed? You lose elections! Get the message?

    Republicans have a few years to clean up their act, or they will lose another election: the third in 12 years. What a “successful” record.

    May 15, 2013 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  24. Quixote

    This wouldmhighlightnthe folly of electing congrssmen who have never bothred to read th US. Constitution. The President, on order to be impeached, must commit high crimes and misdemeanors......

    Not simply be the object of fabricated campfire stories from the oposition.

    So for example, when articles of impeachment we introduced against cheney, it was becuase he had acted in contempt of congress and the courts repeatedly, and was under invesetigation for outing the identity of an undercover operatvie of the Uinited States. When bush had articles introduced against him it was because he had used fabricatwed information to start a war, had broken US law by issuing dirctives to use torture....those sorts of things.

    repubs wetting themselves over a legal investigwtion of a few phone records, or fabricating emails about a phony scandal abt who used the word terrorism at what time, or the actions of some rogue employees at the IRS does not exactly fit the bill.

    May 15, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  25. Berticode

    Why wasn't bush ever impeached? Atleast Obama is more transparent. The number of deaths in Ben ghazi dwarfs the nos in 911 and Iraq war.

    May 15, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
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