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. politicodiary

    This is ridiculous. Obama is not responsible for individual secisions by partisan extremists.

    May 14, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  2. G D

    In the scheme of things, this is such a total non-issue. That impeachment would even be mentioned or considered shows an enormous lack of respect for the POTUS, and that cuts both ways in the future. Jason, get a reality check on your ego and get back to doing the job you were elected to do, which is not witch hunting (sent by an Utahan unsatisfied with you & the rest of our so far right it's wrong group of representatives in DC).

    May 14, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  3. allmorons

    I am a registered republican, but am a libertarian first and this is hogwash, while this president is certainly inept and completely bereft of even a modicum of intelligence, this situation does not rise to the level of impeachment, and to mention it only allows more republicans to be viewed as fringe. He was doing what many of his predecessors have done [R+D], which while dishonest and vile, is not in my opinion impeachable. Yes, this admin certainly trumpeted the anti islamist video. They effectively conjoined this moronic video to conservatives with the help of a complicit news media that was all too willing to re-play the Presidents narrative, over and over again. Even penultimate moron Solidunce O'brian was involved in pushing the admin’s agenda right here on the Clinton news network CNN, and that dunce is barely able to string a coherent sentence together let alone think for herself. Anyone, with half a brain understands that this was done to win an election, an election that could not have been lost anyway considering the stupidity of the American people. If we need to impeach anyone it is the American people for continuously allowing this to happen. America wants and deserves these politicians. Too bad most of us are too stupid to listen to Obama warming up the democrat’s fiddle. I am guessing he is quite the fiddler, and probably also strums a mean lyre as well.

    May 14, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  4. Blame Game

    Republicans who look to blame anyone but themselves have to think about impeaching Obama because hey it's easier than moving on. Who was it that cut founding for security for the state department? Who was it that decided that USMC wasn't going to be totally responsible for security of State department people? Answer that would be the republicans in a move that meant well would free up marines for other missions. So take a look in the mirror Rep. Jason Chaffetz and say I share part of the blame in the blame game your playing. Then impeach yourself for playing a purely political game and witch hunt.

    May 14, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  5. Capitalist

    Ken Star would be proud. More "R" hate less done for the country

    May 14, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  6. larry scarborough

    Add to what I said.If we have a President that sales us out to the enemies.He not for us.Inpeachment would be good.God Bless us all.

    May 14, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. GOP is still garbage"

    So Chaffetz is justifying his existence in Washington. This maggot and klan still cannot think on ideas to continue fixing our problems. The saddest part is that there are actual human beings in full flesh that vote for this excuse-for-organism.

    May 14, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  8. Liz

    Geezus .. these guys are all out for making fame for themselves. You can't impeach the president because there was a security lapse over seas. You didn't see anyone calling to impeach Bush for all the crap he did to this country we're still paying for.

    May 14, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  9. Mac

    Dont fool yourselves. This is 100% the end game. They've been angling for this since he was swore in. Personally I want to see the ensuing riots if they impeach the first black president. It wont go over as smoothly as Clinton's due to the obvious racial components.

    May 14, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  10. dd

    Good news. Impeach Obama! Jail Obama!

    May 14, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  11. Toolttime

    No one cares what he thinks.

    May 14, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  12. stan

    get a real life bud.

    May 14, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. KEvin

    Asinine. Is that printable? Most of the expressions that occur to me after seeing this nonsense are not...

    May 14, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  14. Bill

    And the Republicans said that Saddam caused 9-11
    What was the bigger lie? WE NEED AN INVESTIGATION NOW!
    While we are talking about the attacks on these outposts lets take a look at the 9 that were attacked from 2002-2008 – WE NEED INVESTIGATIONS NOW!

    May 14, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. stan

    Get a real life bud. nothing here.

    May 14, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  16. angryoldguy

    While we are at it, let's bring up charges on 90% of the congress and senate, I'm sure we can find plenty of reason, if we but look!

    May 14, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  17. SuZieCoyote

    Oh for pity sake. Of course no Republican is going to rule out impeachment. It has been their goal from day one.

    May 14, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  18. pat

    Why are we spending so much time in digging the past?

    Do republicans care for the people's business? they have to focus on the economy, healthcare, jobs..and stop attacking others.

    I want to know why no republican has given any credit to the president for saving the country from financial crisis when Bush left after 2 wars. We are better off not attaching others..and focusing on investing in our own country.

    How many soldiers died in the 2 wars..? who is responsible for that? What have we got from going to wars? I would like investigate this first..

    May 14, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. John

    If GOP house members impeach President Obama, or even try to impeach him, they will only further marginalize their own party.

    May 14, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  20. Skarphace

    Have Republicans ever ruled out impeachment of any Democratic President? Whenever they lose, they always resort to attempts at impeachment. It is SOP for them.

    May 14, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  21. Sammy Z

    HAHAHAHA!!! Republicans are so funny. lol

    May 14, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  22. z2cents

    each day I wonder if the GOP can top its latest stupidity..and they never cease to disappoint..

    May 14, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  23. sandcanyongal

    Good. Where can I sign up?

    May 14, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  24. Donna Coles

    It's something I'm not seeking lol

    May 14, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  25. Juanito

    Extremely premature statement, especially without collection of the full facts.

    The thing that's troubling, and least surprising, is that liberals would scream the very same things cons are screaming if Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS-gate, and fed seizing records from the Associated Press had happened on Bush's watch.

    I guess it's just like a bad call during a football game: it's a bad call only if the call goes against your team.

    While I don't see any likeable, or capable, candidates from either party, Obama is the worst thing that could've happened to this country. He killed the economy, sucked whatever hope we've had out of our sails, and extinguished the flame of American pride for this and the immediate generation.

    And now he's turned on the fifth estate, his greatest resource.

    Claim him, all you liberals and democrats. He's your guy.

    May 14, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
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