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. Matt Cantwell

    If Obama is impeached, Bush and Cheney should be brought to court, on war crimes...for an unjust war in Iraq

    May 14, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  2. wwf

    If Obama is to be impeached, what category would that put "Mission Accomplished" Bush/Company? War crimes?

    May 14, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  3. Name ConnieK

    Before America is destroyed!!! Thank you!!!!

    May 14, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  4. tayllor1234

    Impeachment would be too lenient, break out the handcuffs

    May 14, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. joe

    Should have impeached Bush and Cheney for providing false information to the people of the US OF WMD'S in Iraq resulting in the deaths of thousands of U S troops and disabled veterans. Spending billions of taxpayers dollars on a war of choice – not necessity. His cabinet released lie after lie on the validity of WMD'S in Iraq. Republicans are hate filled and bitter that they lost the election by a landside and not only did they get their but kicked and by a black man. Republican party has nothing to offer any more just hate and scare tactics-they want Obama to fail. They don't do what's right for the country-just vote against every bill that Obama and Democrat bring to floor-get over it-you lost by a landside....

    May 14, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  6. Texas

    More GOP wasting of taxpayer dollars over a non issue except for Faux News Koolaide Drinkers

    May 14, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. Jakk

    sorry this is lame

    May 14, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. Erik

    I wish the Republican Party would stop getting sidetracked and focus on reducing government's size. I think the party takes people who want a smaller role for government for granted because the democrats are atleast honest about their intentions about the role of government.

    May 14, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  9. gregg

    these republicans doesnt really have interest on improving the economy....

    May 14, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. TommyTT

    What amazing hypocrites the GOP seems to breed. A bunch of philandering adulterers tried to impeach Clinton. The party of Iran/Contra and death panels is floating trial balloons about impeaching Obama. The GOP is committing slow-motion suicide.

    May 14, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. Name

    I wish members would stop the drama. Stop wasting our taxpayer time and money. We have no way to confirm the nature of the attack

    May 14, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Weasley

    A brand new level of stupidity for the Republican party. You loose the popular election, twice. You cannot steal the election like you did in 2000. So you think you can impeach the President, based on your BS witch hunt? Seriously?

    Come on GOP, spit in the face of the American People, and see what happens in 2016. I dare you. I double dog dare you.

    Make no mistake, this is not about Benghazi. It was never about Benghazi. This is about the Republican party who will stop at nothing to unseat President Obama, and discredit Secretary Clinton, to thwart a potential 2016 run for president.

    May 14, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. wildernessyes

    You grow them smart in Utah don't you? What an foolish man.

    You make us proud again Utah.

    May 14, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. sqeptiq

    Yep, U.S. politics is trying to achieve third world more congress with teapublican control ought to do it.

    May 14, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. JGN

    Ha ha! 'It's not what we're playing for' is hilarious; that kind of hijinx is exactly what the republicans have been working towards since the moment President Obama stepped into office! Slavering over every single thing they thought would work against him, refusing to work with the president on any kind of commitment to compromise on bills, it's been one long endless parade of a republican smear campaign. And yet that party has done more to disillusion the American people on politics than any other. They are hypocrites, simple as that, behaving no better than a pack of hyenas.

    May 14, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. Bill Modlin

    Chaffetz isn't seeking impeachment. He's seeking attention. Pathetic.

    May 14, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  17. Stu Steinberg

    Jason Chaffetz is another "fake American" like all of the GOP extremists. Although he came of age prior to the first Gulf War, and was certainly military-eligible when we went into Afghanistan, he chose to avoid military service. These people, like him, who rant about the Constitution and wave the flag in our faces, are gutless cowards. To talk about impeachment of the President, when he had absolutely nothing to do with the Benghazi debacle is laughable. Where was Mr. Chaffetz and the rest of these right wing extremists when Ronald Reagan, Oliver North and John Poindexter committed treason by trading weapons with the Iranians who then sent weapons to the narcotics smuggling Contras? They gave TOW and Hawk missiles to the Iranians, for crying out loud. In the end, these good ol' white boys just cannot stand the fact that a Black man is President.

    May 14, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  18. waheid

    This is ridiculous. If there was a way to impeach senators and representatives, the entire Congress would be in jeopardy. Chaffetz is an idiot and he seems determined to prove it to everybody in the country. As an American, I am embarrassed. People in other countries must be laughing to see and hear these clowns that we have elected. Who is to blame? The people who elected them.

    May 14, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. Donnie the Lion

    No problem, I'll rule it out for you. If Obama is impeached, you can have all my money, my adorable wife, and all my Star Wars figures. Except Boba Fett. No matter how sure I am, I never bet the Fett Man.

    May 14, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. bobby frank

    blah...blah....blah...what a bunch of malarkey!

    May 14, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  21. Vern

    They guy is flat-out lying, if he says this is something he's not seeking. It's a tradition with the GOP now. When it comes to a Democratic President, if they can't beat them at the ballot box, they try a legal coup d'etat by impeaching them. Those who are clamoring over Benghazi were many of the same ones who tried to keep any investigations on Iraq from happening. Iraq was certainly an impeachable offense. Benghazi isn't. It's simply a mean for the GOP to try and destroy Obama, as they once tried to destroy Bill Clinton.

    May 14, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. steve

    The Republicans are looking for anything that will detract from the fact the economy is improving. Besides an impeachment from this radically conservative do nothing Congress would be a badge of honor.

    May 14, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  23. nuclear mike

    Impeach the is the only solution to all this...but who wants Biden to be next? My God, what chaos Washington-DC has fallen into!!!
    The President has to go!

    May 14, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  24. Brian-PA

    It didn't work when it was brought up prior to the election. Then during. Now after. Seems some want this president gone at any cost. Trust me, this is political, hoisted on the back of families who lost their loved ones. Could we have done more. Yes. Could it have been clearer what happened. Yes. Is it impeachment worthy? No.

    May 14, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. erin

    This the way Republican run their politics is pathetic. Their dream is to impeach every Democratic president. They ruin the country in the process but they don't care!!!! GOP=traitors who waste our tax money

    May 14, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
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