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.”

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

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. Elena Ferrero

    “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,”

    Welll lets start with Bush and Cheney and send them to the Hague for their lies, invasion of Iraq and the killing of over 100,000 innocent IRaqi babies, women and men.

    May 14, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  2. RichardSRussell

    This would be inconsistent with the House Republicans having already ruled out accomplishing anything this term.

    May 14, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  3. Tyler

    I remember the great career Gingrich had after the charades he put on to impeach Clinton said no one ever.

    May 14, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. PoppyLee

    Rep. Chaffetz would do well to remember what happened in the 1998 midterms after Pres. Clinton's impeachment.

    May 14, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  5. jimmycocobop

    I'd impeach Chaffetz for that silly smirk on his face.

    May 14, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |

    They just never learn.

    May 14, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. RNK

    Where were these republicans when Bush had 12 embassies attacked and 60 Americans killed on his watch?
    Where were they when Bush lied to get us into a war with Iraq?
    Yeah, they sat on their hands and did nothing.
    Bush was great, Bush was wonderful as he pushed the patriot act thru and took away our civil rights.
    We need to toss these idiots out and get some real Americans into office.
    We need to get some people in who are not so afraid they need to be armed to the teeth and invade countries who are just different.
    We need to be rid of the republicans and a number of the democrats.

    May 14, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Dave

    The thing about impeachment is you first have to PROVE YOUR CASE.

    May 14, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. us_1776

    The GOP Suicide continues


    May 14, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. mich

    And the 2016 election bid begins................too bad this type of uproar didn't happen with the IRAQ war. To think of a cover up that cost the lives of thousands of American soldiers with the answers the American public was given should be criminal.

    May 14, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. Nuance

    Waste of time as the President would be acquitted by the Senate. This is ironic as well...the Republicans begged the Democrats and President Obama not to go after Bush and Cheney.

    With the way the Pubs are acting toward our President in their attempts to destroy him along with his family....Obama along with the other Dems should have shown no mercy and went after Bush/Cheney for the crimes they committed while in office.

    There are already more than a few countries that want Cheney and Bush for war crimes....

    May 14, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. M

    Impeachment? Oh please! While this thing may be an issue for Republicans, I don't hear anyone else talking about it.

    Republicans are in serious danger of overplaying their hand here. This may play well to the base, but it isn't resonating with anyone else, and, last time I checked, Republicans playing to their base didn't turn out so well.

    May 14, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Bart

    He wasn't in the House when they did that to Clinton. Dumb political move and way to prove democracy has been high-jacked. Repubs are going to get squashed in 2016, which is not good for our country. We need a sane, moderate Republican party in this country.

    May 14, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. Observer

    Republicans want to do with obstructionism and political controversies what they couldn't do with votes: defeat the President. Instead of minding how to help Americans to get better education, better and affordable health care, more employment, less crime, and better life for more people; our frustrated Republicans continues their political drives in their quest for power. Gentlemen: if you want power, go and get it in the elections. Stop despising the 40% that Romney was talking about and get closer to the average American. Stop bowing before the rich and powerful and side with the middle class and working class. That way, you won't need to play so dirty politic and maybe the American people will bestow you with that power that you are thirsty for.

    May 14, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. GAK

    Uh so would a administration that knew there was no WMD's and preemptively invaded a country over something they knew wasn't there, who sent a person of the same last name to speak to the press about those non existent weapons, be guilty of lying to Congress?? Where was the insistence for the truth from THAT administration, when it was caught in a lie??Or is it different when its a Republican White House?

    May 14, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. NASH

    REALLY?-So what if it was a terror attack instead of a random act of a mob attack-how many millions does this twit want to spend on an impeachment and waste time when rally more important work in washington is called for-what an idiot!

    May 14, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Impeachment for the Republicans they just passed a Bill to stop time in a half after 40 hours keep blocking the min wage increase refuse to fund job projects like the super fast railroad that would create over 10,000 jobs what have the Republicans done accept Repeat t Rinse Repeat Rinse the side show about Obama

    May 14, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  18. stainpouch

    The right wing provokes wars in which tens of thousands of lives are lost, wars knowingly based on lies, and now we're talking about impeachment over "talking points"? Are they serious? Our VP published an article rife with lies and then referred to that same article as justification for full-scale war. The he made that war happen and he borrowed the money to wage it. Then he gave all the contracts to supply the war he construed to himself. But the real kicker is that he created his own enemy–Saddam was his creation in the first place. Cheney armed him and at great expense. i And we're dealing with "talking points" as grounds for impeachment? We must rid ourselves of these fools once and for all. Their numbers will either be reduced to insignificance or they will continue to thwart the will of the American people and wie will be unable to move forward.

    May 14, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. Joe

    I voted Obama, but I wish I didn't. Regardless of whether he has anything to do with these scandals, he is the head of the government. He takes the blame.

    May 14, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. The Dude

    So what are you striving for? Your party has done nothing for the American people. Nothing. You and your kind are worthless.

    May 14, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. Observer

    We didn't impeach Bush and Chenney in spite of the fiasco of Weapons of Mass Destruction. We lost several billions of dollars and more important, thousand of American lives and thousand of American injured because of an unnecessary war that did brought very good dividends to Halliburton and Chenney

    May 14, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. kay

    Chaffetz you voted no for more embassy defense. The cnn interview you would not change your vote. GOP never say they are wrong.

    May 14, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  23. Jeff

    If Obama was found to have lied to the American people (like Clinton did with the Monica scandal) then yes it would be grounds for impeachment.

    May 14, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  24. i knew we should've...

    impeached bush over iraq. but nooo democrats and liberals wanted to work with the back stabbing, lying, SoS's. and this is part of the reason i vote for the green party now.

    May 14, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  25. Name abe

    The republicans will not ever get back into the white house, if they try and impeach president Obama,

    May 14, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36