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. J R Brown

    If Obama directed that his administration officials deliberately misconstrued the nature of the attack to preserve his campaign for re-election, he should absolutely be impeached. The Constitution does not condone nor authorize the President to lie to the citizenry to preserve his political career.

    May 14, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Sloppy Joes.

    Dont lie Republican, or youre just as bad as you claim the administration is. Yes you and your companions salivate at the thought of Obamas impeachment. Thats why you try to carve a scandal out of every single incident, even if its remotely related to the WH. Its time to get over Benghazi, yea 4 Americans died including the ambassadOr and yea the CIA and WH misinformed us a bit at first about the event. But who honestly cares anymore other than Republicans trying to bring down Obama, just learn not to make the same mistake. Im tired of seeing this old story in the paper everyday

    May 14, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Disco the Dolphin

    There is a natural cause and effect . Social organism theory dictates that a homeostatic ballance will be maintained by the mass of cells ( people ) , and Obama's attempt to re-write the mechanisms of that social organism ( America ) are failing . Social enginering via the media ( framing issues ) , freezing out antithetical views , mocking , defaming and belittling opposition , libel and slander , re writing history , demonazation of percieved political opposition , isnt workin as he expected .... time to pack up your moving van , back to Chicago with you .

    May 14, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. Duso the Dolphin

    Obama is finnished .

    May 14, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |

    How is it that the Republicans find fault with the Democrats for doing the same things that they do themselves? How many foreign attacks happened when the Bushes were president? How many unfunded wars were started? Remember, when Bill Clinton left the White House, there was a surplus. SURPLUS! President Obama came into it with a deficit. Republicans need to start pointing fingers at themselves. HILLARY 2016!!!

    May 14, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  6. Magician

    Impeach Barack Obama? Then we need to revisit the actions of George W Bush and pursue criminal charges against him for lying to Congress and the country.

    May 14, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. presisamonkey

    haven't we suffered enough?

    May 14, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  8. Alex

    Liberals would be screaming for Obama's head on a platter if he did half the things he did as a Republican.

    May 14, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. Vic

    Why can't the Republicans accept that the Democrats won and they lost and start DOING THEIR JOBS!!!!

    May 14, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Rob

    Should we investigate the 911 files again. You can't bring back the dead. Work together to prevent similar situations. Show a little maturity it's embarrassing to listen this nonsense.

    May 14, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |

    Obama needs to be impeached. I dont know why he should get away with all these blatant lies! He claims he knew nothing about the IRS scandal. Who else would have ordered it and benefitted from it but him?

    May 14, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  12. Steve

    Someone needs to impeach the entire Republican party !!!

    May 14, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. LEK

    Chaffetz voted against funding our embassies; but he's trying to point fingers. It is so sad...

    "Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said today that he voted to cut funding for U.S. embassy security amid political attacks from Republicans that the Obama administration did not do enough to secure the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that was attacked last month."

    May 14, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  14. Schmoogalicious

    Impeachment? Over THIS? BWAAHAAAHAAA! I really didn't think it was possible for the Republicans to get any more laughably farcical than they have been for the last couple of years, but I see I was sadly mistaken. They are capable of infinitely more. What a freak show.

    May 14, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  15. jdoe

    Looks like these jokers are at it again.

    May 14, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  16. scootfl78

    People like Chaffetz who think George W. Bush's dangerous antics after 9/11 were okay (remember: MILLIONS died because of his lies) and who think what's going on now is impeachable deserve to rot.

    May 14, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  17. phoenix86

    Libs will go crazy with this story. However they should remember that abusing executive power through the IRS was one of the articles of impeachment for Nixon. Any president's violation of the US Constitution should be taken very seriously, no matter your party affiliation.

    May 14, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. reality

    Oh Please. Do the republicans not realize that no one takes them seriously anymore?
    How many elections do you have to lose before you get it? We're tired of your drama and stupidity.

    May 14, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. tony

    These are the saboteurs of government that the second amendment is supposed to guard us against. Where are the organized militias that have the 150 million guns?

    May 14, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. Gray

    IMO I think the terrorists succeeded in that attack. I don't think their goal was to try to kill as many people as they can but mostly to divide this country and distroy it politically. And they did just that.

    May 14, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  21. MLWells

    Whether it was a terrorist attack or the result of angry protestors, 4 Americans died. If "talking points" were drafted for dissemination to the public within 72 hours of the attack to ensure the safety of intelligence sources and other American personnel still in country, that is understandable – and prudent. Once officials had sufficient "intelligence" to truthfully report the nature of the attack, correct information was disseminated to the public. I can even understand keeping information of "national intelligence" from public officials – especially those with agendas intent upon disparaging the Office of the President of the United States. "National intelligence" matters should only be disclosed to those personnel in key positions and, even then, caution should be observed ... too many of THOSE personnel seek only to politicize the tragedy for their own personal political gain. Where was the outcry upon the deaths of dozens of American personnel killed in other attacks on other foreign embassies during the Bush administration? Oh, that's right ... dissemination of sensitive information in THOSE instances were deemed "matters of national intelligence". No need for the public to know!

    May 14, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  22. Keyser

    Oh please try impeachment...prove how useless you really are

    May 14, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  23. Mark McMillen

    Are the Republicans trying to self-destruct here??? I just don't understand why this is being made into a such a scandal. Can someone help me out here and explain to me why this is anything other than an attempt to tarnish Hilary Clinton as a potential candidate in 2016? Someone that is objective and respectful please... Don't just reply with the typical 'I hate liberals' or 'I hate conservatives' crap that I see too often on these posts.

    May 14, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. ira wax

    Chaffetz your embarrassing yourself.

    May 14, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. A Sane Person

    Impeachment? For what? This is so much partisan sniping it makes me puke. As a sane human being, business owner, buband and father, I plan on doing everything possible to remove the GOP from government in 2014 and 2016 so we can actually get on with running the country and rebuilding the middle class from the destruction they caused. Possibly.... Then they will clear their ranks of the corporate cronies, fringe lunatics, and the racists in the old guard so I can vote Republican again. Until then? Not a chance in hell. To much crazy BS.

    May 14, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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