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. Michael

    Impeached over talking points supplied by the CIA ? Oh my – I wonder how he would feel about getting us involved in a war based on made up claims of WMD that cost the lives of over 4,000 US troops and cost over 3 TRILLION ?

    Oh never mind that's just a tiny mistake

    May 15, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  2. livingston

    Don't these people realize how ridiculous they look and sound. They remind me of the little kid on the ball field that wasn't picked as the pitcher and now is threatening to take his ball and go home. Well, I say go ahead and go home. The game will go on without you and your petty jealous nonsense. If you aren't trying to help this country run better, then you are the problem and we will remember in November. And every November in the future.

    May 15, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  3. imaback

    The GOP is becoming a joke with impeachments and the threat of impeachments. After Clinton and now this I guess they are going to be big babies and threaten to impeach every democratic president. Chaffetz is a joke, who the hell does this guy think he is. The GOP need to rein him in.

    May 15, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  4. jonnyg

    Nixon was impeached...and no one died in Watergate

    May 15, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  5. Chuk

    "Look, it's not something I'm seeking". Yes, it is something you're seeking. You and your fellow goons have been seeking this since 2008 when a black president was elected. These morons will waste a lot of time on useless exerices to satisfy their hardcore base than put some effort on things that benefits the country.
    As long as the electorate keep electing these wing nuts, they deserve this type of "representation".

    May 15, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. srichey321

    I guess it is better to fail at impeaching a president than it is to fail at trying to do your job. These guys are worthless.

    May 15, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  7. Kimo

    Congress needs to exercise the checks and balances provided to the body by the Constitution to rein in the Executive Branch. The administration has to know that it's unprecedented use of Executive Orders, half=truths provided to the public, and use of Federal Agencies (or mis-use) to target individuals and groups will not be tolerated.

    May 15, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  8. Lurker

    Do you REALLY want Biden as ppresident?????

    May 15, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  9. Rod

    Why wasn't George Bush impeached for what he did in Irag. It is a damn shame Chaffetz does not have better things to do with tax payors money.

    May 15, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  10. Kris


    "Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on Wednesday that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010."


    Where is Darryl Issa's outrage?

    Oh yeah, he did it, too.

    May 15, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  11. PtBarnumBoy

    Nice to see the GOP has an ample supply of wackos.

    May 15, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  12. johnk

    Look instead of going this route of impeachment why don't these dead beat Congressional members focus on balancing a budget, get out of Afghanistan immediately, and clean up their own houses which stink by the way with greed, corruption, and wasteful spending.

    May 15, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  13. jack

    Good luck with that. Waste more or tax payer time and money.

    May 15, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  14. Sky Wizard

    Shocking. They have legit questions, but for me, the GOP has squandered ALL of their credibility over the last five years. Had they been good-faith partners in governance, they would be holding the winning hand right now. But they are the quintessential boys-who-cried-wolf.

    May 15, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If you're a nobody from West Podunk like yorself Mr., Chaffetz, and you are trying to insert yourself into the much coveted limelight of American politics you find a camera and start talking about the impeachement of President Barack Hussein Obama.
    Shut up. Sit down.

    May 15, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  16. Dino

    I don't want to hear about it. Not until Republicans can properly address the scandal in the Bush administration and stop whining when people refer to it just because it's getting old. These immature politicians need to stop acting like they don't notice the body count of lost lives behind alleged political scandals.

    May 15, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  17. xxx

    Why not? The Republicans are experienced with wasting taxpayer dollars. They spent close to $500 million trying to impeach Clinton because he lied about getting busy with Monica L. Heck, I would have lied about that, too. But I'm sure Republicans would have bragged.

    May 15, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  18. grady

    The Republicans can't hurt this president with this issue, but they can muddy the waters for the 2016 election...plant enough doubt so one of their cadidates actually has chance of winning.

    May 15, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  19. Political Ignorance

    Are you kidding me? Here's your 15 minutes of fame for saying "impeachment". Why not help in running the country and not ruining it!?!?!

    May 15, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |

    True patriots, like Benedict Arnold. They deserve to be hung. The tea tards lost the election yet they are trying with any means to destroy this administration whether it harms our nation or not. Bhengazi is a Republican witch hunt the same as Mcarthy looking for commies.

    May 15, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  21. Really GOP?`

    The republicans are truly insane with their hatred for Obama. Bush Dudya had way more impeachable offenses and nothing happened to him because he's a conservative republican. This is just grasping at anything to bring this President down. Something the GOP has been doing since he got elected by the people. So what? It just makes me loathe the GOP even more...

    May 15, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  22. Scott

    Just some no name congressman trying to get some airtime... And it worked...

    May 15, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  23. mattski

    Here we go again. More of the same political nonsense. OK keep it up until no one wants to vote for either party. Oh and go read the book on the terms of impeachment. It doesn't even apply here. But it sounds good for the cameras, right?

    May 15, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  24. Samuel Wyndham

    This man is a total nut case. If he wanted to do some good he should look into the BLM mistreatment of our WILD HORSE in the western states.
    But these people pat each other on the back as AMERICANS.

    May 15, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  25. cel1

    Mr Chaffetz needs to get over truth and decide that the best he will ever find is fact. He also needs to start with his own party, they know not the facts. And, if he is from Utah, he is likely a member of the Mormon Cult and needs to help them find the facts. They spew hatred and bigotry more than the Republicans and Baptists. Facts, people, please, facts.

    May 15, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
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