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. jobiwan

    Bush took 2 minutes to respond about 911. 2 minutes Remember farenheight 911? Well MR Obama took 8 hours, yes hours, and you guys are praising his response time? More DEMOCRAT double standards. You can't have it both ways.

    May 15, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. ShannonM

    Dear CNN,
    Stop posting non-news. It just encourages publicity seekers (see above) to say nonsensical things in order for you to print them.

    May 15, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Anonymous

    How about some outrage for George Bush going to war with the wrong country over the 9/11 attacks! almost 70,000 dead or injured and lives forever changed and over what? Weapons of Mass Distraction! how about some outrage over the cost of this war that our grandkids will be paying for! nope its all Bengahzi,its all about one person, Hillary Clinton and to discredit her in the 2016 election so they can get a pub back in the oval office to continue buissiness as usual ,that is all!

    May 15, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. GottaBeKidding

    So what's going on with the Jobs Bill and working on the infrastructure in this country? While they are so focused on the death of four Americans in Libya, what about all the Americans who are killed right here in this country every day. For all of you saying "Obama lied" – if the truth is really told every President has lied to the American people at some time. That's what all politicians do to try and stay in good standing with their supporters. Didn't the Republicans who got in office in 2010 run on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! So where are they?

    May 15, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. AD

    BO used the general term "act of terror" ONCE in the Rose Garden. But he used the protest story over and over again at the UN, DAVID LETTERMAN, THE VIEW, JON STEWART, SUNDAY TALK SHOWS. He was SO confident this was just a protest that got out of hand, even when all the evidence shows it was a preplanned, coordinated attack.

    May 15, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. jobiwan

    Under Obama jobs pay an average of $10 an hour. Under Bush the average was $17 an hour for newly created jobs. Which economy is better? I was better off 5 years ago and things are not looking up.

    May 15, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. JohnH.

    Let's look at the real subject of this story. Why aren't our elected officials (both parties) doing their jobs? Why do they constantly attack the president, and each other, for this reason or that reason? Why do they constantly try to make every little issue about "my team" vs. "your team". Aren't we all Americans with real problems that they could solve if they acted like grown ups? Everyday congress reminds me of a high school reality show. It's time for TERM LIMITS.

    May 15, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Marshall Thomas

    Republicans are the ones who should be impeached. They do nothing for this country but point fingers at the dems and stir up trouble. Pres Obama has done great things for this country to move it forward and not push us back into the dark ages like the republicans would like. If it were not for Pres. Obama, Bin laden would still be alive today, don't ask don't tell would still be around, equality for all Americans would not be under consideration, and we wouldn't have a First Lady trying to save our children's lives by getting them to live healthier. Think of that America.

    May 15, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. John Nichols

    We didn't respond to the warnings regarding the attached of September 11th.. so how can you say, not responding correctly is an impeachable offense?? Apples and Oranges.. I hate that we lost good people but when you put them in hostile country's, we know this is a possibility.. we should blame whom ever opened the Benghazi consulate.

    May 15, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Dave

    I am a conservative; the talk of impeachment (at this point) is stupid. It would take every republican and approx an additional 25 democrats in the Senate for confirmation of impeachment. Frankly that will NEVER happen. We just need to get ALL the facts and truth of this (and other revelations we are now seeing), and have actual complete public transparency. If guilty of abuse, CALL THEM OUT publicly with FACTS. The American People will make the appropriate changes in 2014 and 2016 (well, all except the bias blind sheeple).

    May 15, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. Palin Power

    This is a clear sign that Sarah Palin is going to be our next President. Obama is clearly the biggest Epic Fail of a President. These scandals would have never happened under her 8 years. The IRS has committed Sacrilege by investigating on the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a party of God and nobody ever dares tax God.

    May 15, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Ken in MO

    Chaffetz should be impeached for incompetence. There is NOTHING to suggest that Obama did anything wrong...or Hillary. IT will come back to bite them.

    May 15, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Wake up People!


    While I agree pay was better under Bush..... until he crashed the economy and damn near EVERYONE lost their jobs. How is it President Obama's fault that the job creators know how desperate people are to work that they now pay lower wages??? Don't forget it is the GOP that refuses to raise the minimum wage. How is any of this on this POTUS??

    May 15, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Malory Archer


    Bush took 2 minutes to respond about 911.


    Actually, he sat like a deer in the headlights for several minutes, then played leapfrog all over the U.S. for several hours, popping up every now and then to tell everyone to be afraid, be very afraid before disappearing into a hidey-hole for another 24.

    May 15, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. AD

    If the State Dept. REALLY didn't have enough funds to provide more security in Lybia (which is laughable since they have millions in their budget) why didn't they pull their ambassador, like the Brits did?

    Sad leadership, more hope and blame.

    May 15, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Malory Archer


    I was better off 5 years ago and things are not looking up.

    Maybe you're the problem. Perhaps if you adjusted your attitued and stopped walking around with a chip on your shoulder whining about the President and "libruls" in general you would make yourself look a little less insane, and therefore more attratived to potential employers.

    May 15, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. kathy/Minnesota

    Hate is.....POWERFUL.

    May 15, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Malory Archer


    I was better off 5 years ago and things are not looking up.

    Maybe you're the problem. Perhaps if you adjusted your attitued and stopped walking around with a chip on your shoulder whining about the President and "libruls" in general you would make yourself look a little less insane, and therefore more attratived to potential employers.

    May 15, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. egosumlamia

    BECAUSE this country has NO OTHER PROBLEMS that need to be solved......
    GTFOi !!!!!!
    Bush and Company had 9 warning that Al-Crazy was going to attack the US and did absolutely nothing to save 2,819 lives on American soil..... That was grounds for impeachment and then started a war over oil that took more lives.

    2819 died under Bush Presidency
    0 Republicans had problems with it.

    May 15, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. g

    open a investigation on bush and cheney and how much money they made on their phoney war,s

    May 15, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Alfredo

    The majority of Utah wanted Obama impeached during his first term. This congressman's stance is simply a relection of that fact I'm quite sure many people in his home state are probably upset Chaffetz is not more vocal!

    May 15, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Name

    Reading these blogs especially those that choose the partisan line I'm left wondering what do they expect from their President? Doesn't moral turpitude mean anything anymore? Do we want someone that uses smoke screens to run this country? Why during a campaign is transparency such a big slogan and after the election nothing? I honestly feel that as long as some people get what they want it makes no difference how! The end justifies the means? Where then do we draw a line? Can there ever be a line if it doesn't matter. We had best think before we hand the keys to our Country to any man because it may also be the key to our freedom and life.

    May 15, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. yogi

    It is on a daily basis we have to endure the utter stupidity of Republicans, if it is not an elected official, it is in many of the comments on these boards. In the GOP there is such a deep seated hate for the President, and they are looking for opportunities to let everyone know, they just cannot say publicly what the real reason is.

    May 15, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Ol' Yeller

    Just another self important arrogant nobody from a red state toeing the party line of trying to make the President look bad and trying to get a head start on chipping away at Hilary. Who cares? If it isn't Benghazi, it is his birth certificate; if it isn't the birth certificate, it is his religion; if it isn't his religion, it is his conspiracy to fake the Sandy Hook massacre; If it isn't his conspiracy to fake the Sandy Hook massacre it is....
    Anyone starting to see a pattern here? (other than whining and sniveling, I mean?)

    May 15, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. ad

    “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices."

    From Obama's May 5 commencement address at Ohio State University

    May 15, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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