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. Dave

    Hey Jason, where were people like yourself when the Bush administration was misleading the American public into the Iraq war at the cost of nearly 5,000 soldiers lives? That administration broke laws and ignored the Constitution in persuit of their own narrow minded agenda and how many calls for impeachment did we hear from conservatives? The problem with people like you is that you just can't accept the fact that the American people put this president in the White House and you've done nothing but try to undermine him ever since. 2014 will be upon us sooner than you think buddy!

    May 14, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. JD

    Jason who? Who made him lord ruler of the USA?

    May 14, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  3. J F in NC

    If President Obama said "the sun rises in the east", the Republicans would find fault. Remember its Racism that keeps the Republican politicians around.

    May 14, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Cee_Dog

    And they wonder why they've become a minority party of cranks.

    Nothing to see here.

    Move on (and do something useful).

    May 14, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. Desert1

    What a bunch of BS,theres a lot of presidents who should have been impeached and were not and how you think of going about impeaching someone who did not know the attack was going to happen,I am sure theres a crystal ball in the republican party so they should have seen it too, BS !!

    May 14, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  6. oh please

    If you can't impeach Bush for lying about going to war in Iraq, you can't impeach Obama, give me a break. Solve the problems of the nation and stop playing "gotcha"!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. Bryan

    Republicans will never impeach Obama because that would make Biden president. They'll just use it over him to make sure he's a lame duck until 2016.

    May 14, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  8. DanBun

    This is simply politics of the worst sort.
    Rather than working together to accomplish national goals, this lunatic fringe of the GOP is simply obstructing compromise.
    Wonder why they lose the popular vote for POTUS? Here's clue #1

    May 14, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  9. sam shannon

    The "Right" have been scrapeing for anything they could get to hurt Obama. That was their mission. They cannot except that they lost the election again. Get over it guys Do your job instead of trying to dig up more untruths.

    May 14, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  10. IvotedforObama

    Another reason why I hate the GOP. If they didn't impeach Dubya over his FAILURES that resulted in 9/11 and that debacle of a War in Iraq of his then there is no reason to impeach Obama over something this minor.

    May 14, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. Manny1

    It is pathetic that a congressman like Chaffetz of Utah, opens his mouth instead of reasoning through his talk.
    What crime has he uncovered to be talking impeachment. Did the Democrats seek impeachment of ex-President George Bush after it was discovered that no WMD? The conduct and comments of lawmakers like Chaffetz, has really cheapened the House of Representativess as nothing but uneducated bunch. Sad for the states they represent. Self-serving instead of serving their constituents. Shame on the GOP. hEAD TO OTE.

    May 14, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  12. KC Yankee

    The Republicans better be very careful with this idea. If they go forward with such a notion they will be grossly underestimating popular support of the president, and it would cost them dearly in the next couple of elections.

    May 14, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  13. Scott Eno

    It's been a long time coming. We need impeach Obama then try him for treason. He has lied from day 1 , shits on the constitution and is at best a Mexican and Muslim terrorist sympathizer. Time we try him and fry him for treasonous acts he commits.

    May 14, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. Michael Hobart

    Jason Chaffetz loves to see himself on the news and has a monumental ego. He is famous for an incident where he ranted at a TSA screener at the Salt Lake airport who would not give him special treatment. "Don't you know who I am?" he railed at the screener. Unfortunately for those living in Utah we do know who he is.

    May 14, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. p.rob

    from the photo, apparently other things ARE on the table.

    May 14, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. Raadgast

    For a member of congress to use impeachment as a political tool seems to lie on the fringe between undemocratic and corruption. Maybe congress should get the same kind of investigations towards them Seriously of all the things the federal government needs to be doing, this is the focus of their time and our money.

    May 14, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. Dirt

    It's not like Obama started a war with a country under false pretense of WMDs which resulted in thousands of US soldiers getting killed for nothing.

    Keep in mind the last time Republicans mentioned impeachment was win Clinton was in Office and lie under oath about questions only him and his wife should talk about. Apparently that's the best crimes Republicans can find going on under Democratic Presidents.

    May 14, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  18. Antor

    As long as everyone keeps allowing left to act like this is all about the failure to properly protect our Ambassidor and not about the lies and cover up prior to the election we will all continue to be fed this nonsense. Mistakes, big and small happen ALL THE TIME. In this case 4 Americans lost their lives. Let's hope those in power and those who will one day be in power learn from that mistake. The crux of the matter is the lies that were told to decieve the American public prior to the election.

    May 14, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. Paul

    I wonder how many jobs that bullsh it charade will create.

    May 14, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. karl marx

    Dear Republicans, Oh, we love you sooo much! Please, PLEASE, *PLEASE* do impeach BHO'B. Pretty please with cherries on top. 🙂

    May 14, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  21. Patrick in Minnesota

    Chaffetz should be impeached for wasting our time.

    May 14, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  22. Steve

    Impeachment? LOL!!!

    May 14, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. Name Socrates Carmen

    Funny republicans, the economy's getting better, now let's spend time & money on Bengazi.

    May 14, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  24. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    By Republican standards, we must indict Bush and Cheney.

    May 14, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  25. Kris L

    2nd Clinton Term: Republican Witch Hunt over minor issue spends millions of dollars of taxpayer money during blossoming economy, impeaches President, Clinton not removed from office (and perjury actually is against the law).

    2nd Obama Term: Republican Witch Hunt over minor issue spends millions of dollars of taxpayer money during improving economy, threatens impeachment, more to come (and nothing illegal actually happened).

    Lying to the people is not illegal. If it were, we could impeach every single politician out there. No evidence exists that Obama did anything illegal when it comes to Benghazi. Linking an attack on a diplomatic facility to protests over a video is not illegal (and was mentioned in interviews with locals as a possible 'excuse' for the attack, which is how Obama phrased it).

    May 14, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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