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. marinedad05

    “Look, it's not something I'm seeking,” the Republican congressman from Utah said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

    Yeah, sure.These guys just want to throw everything up on the ceiling, and hope something sticks. During the Bush-Chenney administration, these very same people supported everything, and defended some really indefensible stands that administration too.

    When is it going to country first with these politician. Its a shame.

    May 15, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  2. Bill

    Can we impeach all members of the house that slashed funds foe embassy security in 2011? What about those on the clock for the 13 previous attacks?

    May 15, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  3. Dave

    Is this really the most pressing issue that Washington has to deal with? No wonder our country is falling apart around us. Please get back to work doing what you were elected to do...which you haven't done for years already.

    May 15, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  4. iSchneggs

    I believe Congressman Chaffetz has better things to do with his time. Like help manage the countries affairs and finances, both of which aren't doing so well. Am I the only Republican that thinks many fellow Republicans are wasting time and squandering resources?

    May 15, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  5. king

    its amazing how these repubs always wants to impeach dem president, but the worst president in modern history George Bush, none of them wanted to impeach him. these phony folks need to stop that crap. when they bring up a bill to charge George Bush for war crimes, and fooling the American people, the American people will open their ears about impeachment, first they have to provide some glitter of evidence that the president was involved in any wrong doing, and not their usual speculations, since their hatred of facts are so prominent.

    May 15, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  6. Gary N.

    The oath of public office is clear; When you violate those oaths who holds your feet to the Fire? It is not just the untruths told to the American Public. It is a betrayal of their office. President Obama has violated those oaths and duties clearly and blatantly. Why should America allow this? We lock people up when they break the law! But we allow public officials to STAY in office when they break the law? Let's just call it what it is,"Treason"!

    May 15, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  7. md11456

    Yes, when a President displays incompetence and indifference in his role as Commander-in-chief, and 4 lives are lost......impeachment should be on the table.

    May 15, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  8. clarke

    Well from where I sit, The GOP has been on a witch hunt since Obama was first elected President. There only mission has been to get rid of him and we have all been paying them to do nothing for the American people who elected them in good faith

    May 15, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  9. Really...really

    My goodness. If you plan on kicking every president out of office where there is loss of life you'll end up with a new president every year. If people believe that there is a way to predict all possible attacks on US citizens around the world they are smoking something to extreme.

    May 15, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  10. Chris

    Where was the posibility of impeachment when President George W Bush LIED about weapons of mass destruction!!!! We are still at war because of that LIE! The GOP political games of deceit & trickery didn't prevent President Obama's election or re-election so now they want impeachment. Are they going to waste tax-payers money in this economy for another failed impeachment trial like they did with President Clinton!

    May 15, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  11. Mike

    First they will target select groups and individuals, but it always spreads, it always does. A look at the abuse of power and efforts to lie and mislead the American people is disgusting and criminal. I only hope the 'free' press wakes up and starts holding our government officials on both sides of the aisle accountable before it is too late.

    May 15, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  12. ally buster

    OH go for it !

    Surely, the republicans, never known for their sterling brain power.....know better than to try this! The American electorate is already sick and tired of their mindless, foaming at the mouth rhetoric. Add this to the mix of a popular president and they would get DESTROYED in next year's mid-term elections!

    May 15, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  13. johno54

    During WW2 it is said by the American sailors, that when a German ship would come to attack them, the first shot might fall ahead of their ship and if they were lucky the second would fall behind them, but the third salvo was not likely to miss.
    It would seem that the GOP has found the President's range and the next salvo is not likely to miss. It is one thing to be highly educated intellectual and wise but it is even more prudent that even if one does not practice guile that one would at least be cognizant of it's ability to corrupt, harm and destroy.
    In nature many of God's creatures have been gifted with all sorts of ways to not being preyed upon. The skunk, the porcupine, the badger. Many of the predators of these creatures at times forego attacking these creatures unless they have been caught in great distress or compromising situations but the predators are cognizant of the pain and suffering if they were unsuccessful in their attack.
    Wisdom is not unique to mankind and we could learn much from these mere creatures.

    May 15, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  14. DJ

    Have you ever noticed that as soon as a democratic president is sworn in, some republican immediately starts talking impeachment. They don't have a reason yet but assume they will think of something later. Personally if it was me, I'd be more interested in doing the job I was being paid to do instead of creating pointless and fake drama. Maybe if more on both side worried more about doing their jobs, this country would be in much better shape. Seems to me the ones that need to be impeached are the congressmen and women that won't do their jobs.

    May 15, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  15. Joe Blow

    Don't you people have important things to do?

    How much time did you spend deconstructing Bush/Cheney's lies about Iraq? Lies that cost thousands of brave American's lives?

    Don't you have a budget to balance?

    A tax system to overhaul?

    You know ... the things we sent you to Washington to do with your time, rather than try and make political hay out of an attack that killed several Americans?

    You note the numerical difference between several and several thousand, right, so obviously you must have been very busy investigated Cheney's lies ...... right?


    Oh ... yea, I forgot, you only investigate Democrats.

    Why do we send these useless numbskulls to Washington?

    May 15, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  16. JJ

    Jason who? LOL!

    May 15, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  17. RalphS

    Typical: GOP loses election they could have easily won because they cannot in unison relate to the common American. Even more typical: GOP flaps their gums during a second term administration instead of sucking it up and being the patriotic "real Americans" they claim to be. Conclusion: The old guard GOP is dead and buried. A new intelligent party must emerge that consists of a mixture of rational Democrats and Republicans with moderate conservative views, or else the voting public will continue to elect the lesser of two evils.

    May 15, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  18. bob

    Sounds like lthe President has made things uncomfortable for Republicans with the gun background check issue. The Republicans go on the attack to divert pressure.

    May 15, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  19. JD

    Gotta love that the GOP is so stupid they keep coming up with ways for the public to turn against them! Go GOP! Come on 2014! They should put Palin in charge of something, that would be even more icing on the cake!

    May 15, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  20. David

    This won't go anywhere.

    May 15, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  21. Riichard T. Brady

    Chaffetz would be more suitable to sit on the overweight committee than the oversight committee.

    May 15, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  22. DonnieH

    If you can't win an election, impeach the party that does win. Republican politics 101. Delegitimize, impeachment, gerrymandering. Sounds like a desire for a single party system
    All the mouth breathers need to look up the true meaning of Communism. Because the advocate Communism every time they lode an election. They ate already making Hilliary Clinton out to be their latest reincarnation of evil personified. Mrs. Hitler as opposed to Muslim Hitler.

    May 15, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  23. ipmutt

    They should get started with the impeachment right now. Obama continues to loose control of every aspect of his administration and of this country. He is trying to lead by not staying involved. This along with Libya, IRS dirty tricks, AP Dirty trick, Gun running down south dirty tricks and all the others shows he is running the most dishonest presidency since Nixon.

    May 15, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |

    Nevermind killing thousands for profit, that was not what it seemed right? simply cannot wait til 2014. these guys look like idiots

    May 15, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  25. Katie

    Wow – haven't those jokers got anything better to spend their time on? Seriously?

    May 15, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
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