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. Vee Evans

    Is this a part of the Republican playbook? Try to impeach any democrat that wins re-election. Where was this concerned man during the faux wars and search for weapons of mass destruction?

    This is totally embarassing to me as an American tax paying citizen.

    May 14, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  2. Name

    i cant believe they wont let this go. . . is this the best fight they engage in. . .
    Stupid. . and pleaze stop saying tbe public deserves to know. . . we already know. . . yall made we did. . . . MOVE ON

    May 14, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. JakedogemPhilliwPhillomoc

    What a bunch of blow hards, quite waste our time and money jerking off about this crap. Sometime things should be kept secret whether you like it or not, it s obvious the place should have been more highly protected and it not the president place to do it. So stfu.

    May 14, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. Complete ignorance

    Every time Chaffputz opens his mouth – it's a waste of time to listen.

    May 14, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. Kelcy

    Seriously. Be careful of what you wish for. These days there is the international criminal court that can easily go after a few republicans from crimes against humanity which is no doubt something they have wanted to do for an illegal war.

    May 14, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. Dave

    Who is this guy? I've never heard his name before. And he thinks the President will be impeached? I think this guy will be forgotten.

    May 14, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. w l jones

    Sound like a person never spent one day in the military in a country in middle of a civil war.

    May 14, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. jdinblankets

    Iran-Contra was an impeachable offense, for two republican presidents. Taking us into war in Iraq without good cause costing tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans their limbs and lives was cause for impeachment. Where was the outcry then. Benghazi was a tragic mistake that happens in places where central government is weak. There are reasons Stevens was in Benghazi that we do not know about.

    May 14, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. pwmcgill

    Impeachment proceedings would simply be seen as just another moronic attempt by the GOP (Grandiose Odorous Party) to derail the Obama administration without a genuine cause. Will these ignorant folks ever learn that their whiny and pathetic temper tantrums carry no merit with intelligent and educated voters? Is there any wonder that the GOP will not win a Presidential election anytime in the foreseeable future?

    May 14, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. U.S. Citizen

    As long as the Senate has enough of Obama's faction opposed to impeachment, it isn't going to happen.
    However, if Obama becomes a hindrance to his faction's objectives they'll throw him under the bus.

    May 14, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. mdbill

    Yawn. More partisan nonsense wasting more tax payer's money grandstanding. Same old same old

    May 14, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. fedup99

    Typical hateful, stop anything democrat republican crap. so old, so tired.

    May 14, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. Mike

    Ridiculous. About 60 people died in embassy and consulate attacks during the Bush administration. Not one Republican expressed outrage or launched an investigation. The Republicans are responsible for the complete stagnation of the legislative branch, and think more about their political advantage than about governing and benefiting the country. Vote them out in 2016

    May 14, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  14. Brian

    Where exactly is the "High Crime or misdemeanor"?

    May 14, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  15. Anthony

    You have got to be kidding me. Republicans are willing to tear apart this country at any cost.

    May 14, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  16. bspurloc

    anything they can do to not help the American Citizens.

    May 14, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  17. angry taxpayer

    Looks like this administration has killed more US Diplomates than 25 million American gun owners.

    May 14, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Wow our country is searching for jobs answers to our economy and they are out for this guys head. Hmm dosen't make sense if he went after osama maybe you need to get all the facts, something is missing. we all make mistakes and congress if he goes so should you all as well!!!

    May 14, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  19. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    While President Obama has certainly not performed to the level this country deserves, some of the problems he has faced are the direct result of obstructionist Republican Senate and House members.

    As poorly as he has performed, nothing he has or has not done rises to the level that would support impeachment. Chaffetz is just another Obama-hater seeking publicity.

    May 14, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  20. Anonymous



    (wipes tear). Republican guys are funny.

    May 14, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  21. James Foley

    I'm afraid, Mr. Chaffetz, that the time for impeachment has long passed since the ousting of President George W. Bush. First things first after all. You give us yours we'll give you ours, but not until then 🙂 Savvy?

    May 14, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  22. lisalv

    It's cleat that Republicans are still mad because President Obama took out Osama Bin Ladin and they didn't. As a matter if fact, President Bush felt that going after "one" man was a waste of resources and that the American people needed to understand that. Impeaching President Obama because he refuses to kowtow to a group of Republicans that made a conscious effort to deny HIM any amount of success, would be laughable if it. Were not so serious. It's time for Republicans to concentrate on their agenda that moves the country forward or if they rather not, resign.

    May 14, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  23. zon

    Crazy is as crazy says. This congressman is a certifiable lunatic.

    May 14, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  24. Russell

    As tragic as Benghazi was, it pales in comparison to the carnage in Iraq. So unless Republicans are finally ready to charge Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove (the 4th Reich) with war crimes, talk of impeaching Obama is completely asinine.

    May 14, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  25. Mathew Keirinsky

    Impeachment?? For what? Republican craziness is costing the country billions. They want to unellect Obama? I don't think so

    May 14, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
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