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. Reason


    you people cant be serious right? I mean.....
    hahahaha wow.

    May 14, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  2. Artist

    This is starting to sound like Clinton's second term. Republicans are so useless to the American people it's not even funny.

    May 14, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Kuron

    Go ahead and impeach him. Republicans tried that with Clinton and it backfired then and it will once again! The GOP already has an image problem, why not just add to it?

    May 14, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. OldOhio

    Yada, yada, the B/C didn't work?

    May 14, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. Kev

    “It's not the endgame; it's not what we're playing for..."

    The problem with politicians is everything IS a game to them. They don't care if people died, or even if people lied about it later. They only care how it can help them get themselves or their party ahead or damage their opponents or their party.

    May 14, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. Nick

    But no republicans talked of impeachment when Bush faked Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to start a war that caused thousands if soldiers lives

    May 14, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. sammy750

    Republicans love the word IMPREACHMENT. But Traitor Bush and Cheney continued in office after they lied about Iraq. Republicans have continued since 2008 to attach Obama and his agenda. This is what the Republicans stand for. They will be defeated in 2014 and 2016, the American voters will not elect a Republican. They are the real terrorist of this country.

    May 14, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. MIzery

    Really? This is stupid. Unfortunately Republicans will never regain office with the sideshow they have created since Obama's election. Way to make the AMerican people look like jag-offs Jason. This is nothing bt weak propaganda.

    May 14, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Marshall Wilson

    Did President Bush have to deal with impeachment threats over 9/11? What is this childish game being played in Washington. Get on with serious business!!!!

    May 14, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. Reggie from LA

    Amazing! Look at that smug look. A look of a man on a mission. Has he actually accomplished anything while in office, I mean other than stir up trouble. Same for Darrell Issa. What a bunch of useless, empty suits. Where was all there concerns 5 or 6 years ago. They just can't stand it. A second Obama term is just killing them and in turn, is hurting our country. Divisive attack dogs for the wealthy. Most of whom I'm sure are furious that the grand plan espoused by Mitch McConnell failed, so now they have to open up the ol' bag-o dirty tricks. WE AIN'T BUYIN' IT!! TRY SOME OTHER STUFF. Maybe go back to that thing where you think you have the Latino community convinced you're the good guys. Impeachment? You've gotta be kidding me. Congrats Chaffetz. You're on the radar again. Circus.

    May 14, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  11. Bob Knippel

    Keeping people in government on the straight and narrow. Sounds good to me.

    May 14, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  12. David

    GOP philosophy if you can't beat them impeach them.

    May 14, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. Christopher

    Its not surprising to see the same 90's strategy response from Republicans to a Democratic second term. First you smear a potential future candidate and attack her credibility. Then you talk of impeachment, to distract everyone from your own failings, in order to insure a victory in the next election. It worked in the late 90's and resulted in the age of arrogance and greed. Beware that the same pattern does ni t repeat. You all deserve better.

    May 14, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. Patines

    What's wrong with these people? How about Palin, McCain, GOP, etc. etc.

    May 14, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  15. Blue

    Don't count your chickens, you may be the one gone in 2014. President Obama is not going anywhere.

    May 14, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  16. goo6er

    Republican hate just overflows – there is no end to it. What small, petty people to say such things. My response would be that impeachment of Rep. "Chubby" Chaffetz" is within the realm of possibility as well.

    May 14, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. GJC

    Impeach? So now Republicans want to impeach another Democratic president. Just great. Is this how they get their way? I am so sick of both political parties trying to make each other look bad. Instead of doing whats good for the people and the country they do what makes their party look good. I think if any president deserved impeachment it was Bush... lied to us, invaded another country and his policyies almost brought us into a depression! I am sick of all of them.

    May 14, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  18. Buzz

    And boom, it just got stupid.

    May 14, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. John

    “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. Replace Benghazi with Sandy Hook and you'd have it right Mr. Carney.

    May 14, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  20. Juan

    Pfft, grounds for impeachment absolutely not, botched yes.

    May 14, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  21. The Dude

    Bring it an lose the minority vote forever. The rest of John Boners kids marrying black will not help you either.

    May 14, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  22. Terry D.

    Business as usual for the GOP, get control back over Congress and the White House by any dirty means necessary. Meanwhile, the important issues of the nation go without attention.

    May 14, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  23. Michael

    LOL, they've been threatening to impeach him before he was even sworn in the first time. Of course they aren't going to rule it out... they've been trying to manufacture something to impeach him over for years.

    May 14, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  24. move_on

    The Republican strategy appears to be winning by making the other side lose, rather than having the better ideas. Here is a tip: focus on bringing out some real decent candidates into the next election instead. Leave out the nut jobs, blatantly incompetent and those with the charm of a meter maid.

    May 14, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  25. heebeejeebee

    Here we go with Kenneth Starrness all over again. everytime I democrat gets in office for 2nd term the gop start talking impeachment to bog down the agenda. you guys suck

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