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. Susan TM

    Geeze Louise...will this senseless, tiresome, childish bickering never end? Hey GOPers...the entire world knows you don't like Obama just as the liberals didn't W. But guess what?? He IS the president so deal with it & grow up!! Quit whining & bitching & start working with him instead of disagreeing with him at every turn. He simply cannot be wrong on everything as the GOP would have us believe. He'll be our president for 4 more years so why not make the most of those by working with him to make our country a better place? You may not always agree with the man but agree to disagree, compromise & move on!

    May 15, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. 2 Km N of G Zero

    Special prosecutor, threats of impeachment, threats of a recall election (where legal). Standard GOP playbook.

    May 15, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. MP in VA

    I won't rule out never voting for a Party who cannot see their own forest for others' trees. Since when did hypocrisy become a family value? I'm not saying the Democrats are any better, but Democrats don't splash Jesus and family values all over my face, then act contrary to their Jesus and family values rhetoric.

    May 15, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. vj

    Cahffetz and the other GOP House lightweights will never ever ever EVER get President Obama impeached...not even close

    May 15, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Jinx9to88

    If Obama misled the country on 4 deaths, what on earth did Bush/Cheney do with misleading the country on thousands of deaths in Iraq? GOPers are one big joke!!! They make me sick this family will never vote GOP again unless they get this current crop of scrubs out of office!!

    May 15, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Alina77

    GOP are the most disgusting political organization that you can find in US right now.. Their morality is long gone...

    May 15, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. griff-griff

    He's from Utah, he's Morman (probably), and Obama lanslided his boy Romney by 126 electoral votes.. This crackpot just wants vengeance!! Not saying these issues are not serious, but to impeach the president; That's rediculous..

    May 15, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. Jim

    Be a patriot and support your president for a change!

    May 15, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. what

    Ed dugan, where did the hispanic comment come from? Rather random

    May 15, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Hillary the Skank going to Prison

    Impeaching Obama is probably not going to happen but the way things keep happening either the dems have to gather themselves together and throw him & hillary to the wolves or they are going to lose every election from here til 2200. too much bad stuff for the electorate to swallow – a worsening depression that Clinton started (yes that's correct), gun running over the border, sacrificing people to al queda, no foreign policy, no jobs, abuse of power in every respect, and the list goes on. witnesses and paper trails are popping up everywhere, admissions by the IRS, etc., proof positive that this administration is the most corrupt we've ever had.

    May 15, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Wake up People!

    This guy must think the American people are idiots. They have been talking impeachment before President Obama was even elected. I hope they realize what they are doing. But they won't. And when they lose big time in 2014 & 2016, they will cry foul. The GOP has done absolutely nothing to move this country forward. This is going to backfire in their faces.

    And after all of this is said and done, I hope and pray this administration brings the prior one up on charges for War crimes. Bush and Cheney and crew deliberately lied to us about WMD's. They then put us in 2, count em, 2 unnecessary wars but they get a free pass? Yet they think they have a right to impeach a POTUS for taking points after an attack?? Get this through your thick heads. Mitt Romney lost because he was a liar and a tax cheat, who refused to release his taxes when everyone else did. The GOP didn't even like him, but at least he had the qualities they were looking for.

    Note to President Obama.....

    Mr. President, you have tried doing everything right and they spit in your face at every step. They don't like you nor do they respect you. It's time to stop being so nice.

    May 15, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Puddin

    Ha! What Chaffetz denies is exactly what all this garbage is all about. John Boehner just said on TV "their only interest is "the truth." The only "truth" they know is their kind of truth – just tell us what we want to hear. I agree with all of those comments about Bush and Cheney serving time at Gitmo. The unnecessary deaths they caused is inhuman. I know there must be many families out there who lost their offspring who would like to go for their jugglers.

    May 15, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Jinx9to88

    The GOP seem to take turns bringing this issue up hoping it stays alive for the 2014 elections. Tomorrow it will be a different GOP representative to say something and so on.

    May 15, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Brad

    If only the Repub's brains were as large as their Spare Tires (bellies) look at this relishiing his 10 minutes of fame, you can see it in his face. The Repubs try to out do one another's outlandish claims everyday, like I have said before they are digging a hole so deep they can't get out of.

    May 15, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Larry in Houston

    until the 2014 mid-terms – D.C. will be a circus. nothing will get done – nobody in republican controlled congress cares – about anyone, or anything. it's really too bad, that the voters in this country has been let down, by the very people we put in office – Mr. Obama & his administration (that the people elected, btw) wants to move this country forward, and they are constantly "stonewalling" – – – I don't remember this much hatred towards ANY previous administration, (let alone this potus) Here is what I remember : they got things done – even in a bi-partisan way – you never heard of all this "in-fighting" and the list goes on. I mean, even during the dumbest one's administration, they still got things done ! and when you think about bill Clinton's administration, they got things done ! (even with the "newtster" in charge of the house) they eventually got things Done !!

    May 15, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. felixgiordano

    A presidential impeachment over Benghazi? Whatever happened to presidential impeachable crimes such as Iran/Contra and the Iraq War where thousands of innocent people lost their lives? So if this doesn't fly then what's next, impeach Obama over his handicap golf game or his bad jokes?

    May 15, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. AD

    How many billions are budgeted to the state department? To use the excuse that they couldn't find money to secure our consulate in one of the most unstable nations in the Middle East is LAUGHABLE!!!!

    They somehow found $60 million to give to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt but can't get enough money to protect their ambassador after repeated requests to do so is DISGRACEFUL. The Brits saw the threat and pulled their ambassador but Hillary and BO didn't.

    May 15, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Peach

    Finally-–time for Obama to go BYE BYE

    May 15, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Data Driven

    AD said: "even if he has to fabricate a story and pitch it to the public"

    First, define the story he pitched. What exactly did the President say?
    Next, prove that he fabricated it. Show evidence that Obama was directly involved in a cover-up. Name witnesses, refer to documents.
    Finally, look up on the internet the following: "Rhodes, White House, email". It's the only document released that pertains to a possible cover-up. Prepare to be disappointed. Sorry, guy.

    May 15, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Dano

    It seems like we went through all this bs before with Clinton, and yet no one in congress seems to care when a president & vp willfully deceive the country to start a pre-emptive war in Iraq.

    May 15, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. AD


    Our real enemy is Islamo-Fascists, not the Tea Party. Lesson 1 in being Commander In Chief: Identify your enemy correctly. You won't even say it.

    May 15, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. John The Electrician

    The Republicans will impeach. But it will be because he drinks Pepsi instead of Coke. All the resaon they need.

    May 15, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Leftcoastrocky

    How about working on a jobs program, GOP? Focus on infrastructure, jobs and R&D. Work on making life better for the middle class, GOP, not worse.

    May 15, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. pditty

    All these scandals, imagine what we would find if we had a media investigating this administration as if it were a Tea Party Member.

    May 15, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Moderately Amused

    Liberal Talking Points for the Day:

    1. Bush
    2. "Lower Level Employee"
    3. Faux News
    4. Obstuctionist Cons
    5. Bush
    6. Iraq
    7. Recuse is ok
    8. Bush

    You guys got anything else coherent to say other then above? Anything? Crickets.....

    May 15, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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