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 davis

    Obama has 2 daughters. That's un-American. Let's impeach him.

    The GOP

    May 15, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. bajadelmar

    So says the congressman from Utah who graduated from BYU. Enough said.

    May 15, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Justin

    If they're gonna talk impeachment over Benghazi, then when is George W. and his cronies going to Gitmo over 9/11?

    May 15, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. tired of liberals

    The DEMS love to protect their buddy OBAMA. How sad. He is a pathetic excuse for the leader of of the USA. His entire administration is corrupt and he has no idea how to lead a country. HE ONLY divides us.
    Respect the constitution, pass a budget, stay out of our lives and screw political correctness. If you are offended. leave
    we dont need you dragging down this country

    May 15, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Brad

    It's amazing that these Obama worshipppers still don't understand that this isn't about the dead soldiers but rather the coverup- all to win an election- identical to watergate but this time the media worked to help with the coverup- now they're wiretapping the press and you obamabots still don't cry foul- I can see now how people like Chavez get reelected- you people are blind

    May 15, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a Stone" (John 8: 7)

    May 15, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. jim

    America is doomed. Both parties are aweful.

    May 15, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Joe The Plumber

    I dont rule out psychiatric exam for Rep Chaffetz. To paraphrase Chaffetz, "Look, I am not something I am seeking." But I want the truth is Chaffetz crazy or not!"

    May 15, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. Edward

    How about all those sitting jail because they followed the orders that came down from the Bush White House about torture. Now The X VP of Bush comes out with a documentary saying they did the right thing when torturing. He admitted it. Why aren't we putting Bush and his side kick on trial? It seems Republicans won't go after their own but will do anything to make the other side look bad AT ALL COST. If all those other people have to sit in prison Bush needs to be there to.

    May 15, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. Brandon

    The libs are on their toes...I love this it's wonderful. I see all of your comments...Bush this and Bush that... What has Obama done libysss? He hasnt changed ANY of bushs policies. Why not? You are scared that your scandelous black president is going DOWN!!! hahahaah. Your white guilt cant stop it this's OVER

    May 15, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. sambell1

    i'm guessing an impeachment hearing is a great way for the new gop members of the house to vote out obamacare for the 38th time! john boner for president! michelle bachman for v.p.!

    May 15, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Andrew

    Where were these politically stilted jokers when Bush was killing hundreds of thousands in Iraq? Hiding and slapping themselves on the backs.

    May 15, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Rashid

    Really? Taking a nation to war under false pretences and lies was not an impeachable offence, but this is. We have stopped thinking like Americans, everything is seen through the Republican/Democratic lens. What a way to destroy a nation.

    May 15, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. rob

    I agree with Jim...Both parties are Disgusting...term senator from each party for each state...enough with the clown acts...enough with the labeling...we have serious issues, and name-calling and inflammatory rhetoric won't solve them

    May 15, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. ed dugan

    Look, the Republicans are going to take a real licking in the next election but that's no reason to drive off the cliff. I know they are desperate but this guy is nuts. If they didn't impeach Bush and Cheney for getting thousands of Americans killed without cause why would he even think about it? Just another reason why we should NEVER put a hispanic into a political office!

    May 15, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Michael

    They've been talking about impeachment before Obama even became president.

    May 15, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Mr Dalloway

    That's right republicans please put forth impeachment proceedings, that way you will seal the downfall of your party

    May 15, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. rob

    Get rid of ALL incumbents NOW...and if the next bunch don't do the right thing...NEXT

    May 15, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. Michael in Houston

    Yet another attempt by the GOP to overturn the results of a general election. The articles of impeachment were designed for two purposes. The first being a path to remove the President for high crimes...crimes so bad that the Country has been put into jeopardy. They set the bar very high for impeachment. The other reason was to PROTECT the President from his enemies who simply want to remove him because they dont like him or dont agree with him.
    The GOP twisted and abused this with the impeachment of President Clinton whose sins hardly met the threshold of impeachment and they are trying to do it again with President Obama.
    This is simply another attempt to overturn the will of the Nation because they dont like the fact he was re-elected. It is total garbage.

    May 15, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. roe

    how is that because liberals defend their president we are now dumb and evil. when W was clearly the biggest moron to ever learn to put on a tie. But again history doesnt matter to these people. Its really sad.

    May 15, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Andrew

    Really, Rashid? But a smoker in the oval office is? Ask yourself, is decorum or political affrontery more important than life? Hell, there was talk of sending GWB to the Hague. If we don't find a similar value here, yeah, it's broken.

    May 15, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. eflows

    Go for it. Worked out really well for the GOP last time they did it.

    May 15, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. lroy

    Whatever it takes to get him out of office.

    May 15, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. Jeb

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged in 2012 that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security.

    "Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country."

    For the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forces protecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers shaved $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012 - cutting back on the department's request by $331 million.

    Why is Chaffetz pretending to care about Embassy security now?

    This is about 2016.

    May 15, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. mpouxesas

    This belated sensitivity and outcry about obama's presidency from GOPers is at least pathetic. And it would be funny if it was not dangerous. They cheered when dubya dragged this country to obscure wars fighting terrorism (that the US created to begin with), based on lies, and of course in the process losing thousands of american lives (as well as foreigners). Meanwhile, dubya's buddies made bank with mr and mrs joe money and they are still laughing all the way to the bank. Yet, we have crocodilian tears from the same people about obama and his administration. Pathetic.

    May 15, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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