Coburn: Obama a 'friend,' but his actions nearing grounds for impeachment
August 22nd, 2013
06:31 PM ET
7 years ago

Coburn: Obama a 'friend,' but his actions nearing grounds for impeachment

(CNN) – Sen. Tom Coburn became the latest Republican lawmaker to link President Barack Obama to potential grounds for impeachment during a town hall Wednesday.

The Oklahoma Republican – who also said Obama was a "personal friend" – responded to a question from a constituent by asserting that the president's policies were approaching a legal standard for impeachment.

Without using specifics, Coburn cited "intended violation of the law" by Obama's administration, as well as general incompetence of some of his appointees.

"I don't have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanors – but I think they're getting perilously close," Coburn said, according to a YouTube video posted Thursday.

He also acknowledged that as a senator, he wouldn't play a role in proceedings until the House voted to impeach Obama – but still said he was keeping track of potentially impeachable offenses.

"I'm documenting all this as it does along," he said. "I don't know where that level is – I'm kind of like the lady in the back. I'm fed up. I'm frustrated. I'm happy to raise an issue at every point."

"He's in a difficult position he's put himself in," the Republican lawmaker continued. "And if it continues I think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in this country in terms of the presidency."

The idea of impeaching Obama has come up several times recently, including when Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold told his Texas constituents earlier in August that the House of Representatives "could probably get the votes" to impeach Obama.

And in a video posted online Tuesday, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan responded to a woman during a Q&A session that "if I could write that bill and submit it," he said, moving to impeach Obama "would be a dream come true."

CNN's Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama • Tom Coburn
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. David Huffine

    Pandering to the base...otherwise known as throwing red meat into the cage. The political discourse in this country is positively...scary.

    August 22, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. necronn99

    Been saying this for 5 years .. what you all just starting to see it now?>

    August 22, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. g

    republicans -cant beat him impeach

    August 22, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Name

    Wow!!!! Really unbelievable.....the GOP and tea party folks are crazy. Need to get rid of townhall meetings. Only hateful people attend. I guess it is okay for GOP administrations to destroy the middle class, kill 5,000 plus American soldiers in a war that was started because of lies, unwarranted wiretaps, and programs that hurt middle class jobs. I could go on but I will stop. Wake up Folks!

    August 22, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. RWB1956

    Gee, I wonder if all these politicians . sounds like they are telling their base what they want to hear. calling for impeachment are up for reelection. The charges, bring on the charges. Oh, wait...

    August 22, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Ron L

    This is simply the Republicans being RIDICULOUS, saying things that are bordering on the absurd and only appealing to the base of their party. How does a political party feel good about constantly wanting to make it more difficult for those Americans less fortunate? They don't support increasing the minimum wage, they are constantly making it more difficult for Americans to vote, they are making more difficult for women to chose their own reproductive rights, and last but not least the are out to destroy the Affordable Care Act without offering anything to replace it. The net result poor and unfortunate having only emergency health care. It is so sad and it is not going to work!!!

    August 22, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Anthony in California

    Until they mention Bush and his WMD lies that cost the lives of thousands, Cheney's outing of a CIA agent, the Patriot Act, those tax breaks for the rich while waging 2 unfunded wars, the amount of people who died at embassies, and all the crooked Haliburton no-bid contracts... they might want to keep Obama's name out of their mouths...

    seriously folks.. how do you even "go there" with all the dirt the Republicans have done during the 8 years of GWB???

    Comical. Now start chiming in 'just sayin' and 'Rick McDaniels'

    August 22, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Abbey

    Obamacare is now law. SCOTUS has ruled that in spite of what Obama and Democrats think, it is a new Tax. Let's give a little credit to them for it.

    August 22, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. RWB1956

    Gee,I wonder if all these politicians calling for impeachment are up for reelection? Sounds like they are telling their base what they want to hear. The charges, bring on the charges. Oh, wait...

    August 22, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Go for it you GOP losers, you GOP should self deport to samilia to be with your alcada brothers, your sure not American and you lost the election in case you forgot,GOP losers.

    August 22, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    And what would be the charges for impeachment? You have to prove some sort of wrong doing, kinda like being involved in a break-in, theft, murder, or some criminal event. Oh I know, I know–
    –NSA spying–Been going on for decades, and W put it in overdrive.
    –IRS–Again going on for decades (President Obama appears as outraged as anybody else. Appears....)
    –And of course when all else fails–Stand back, grab hold of your bible and scream Benghazzzi!!!! (Yep four dead, vs. thousands and thousands dead courtesy of W.)
    I think the Bard said it best, "It is a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury, signifying....nothing." Besides, how much federal money did Okla get for the monster tornadoes Coburn? This man is not deserving of any respect. Nothing but vote stumping, again, because nothing else has worked.

    August 22, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Uhhuh

    I think we're getting perilously close. I'm no legal scholar, and I don't know what I'm talking about, but we're really really close.

    This is getting comical.

    August 22, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Qwen

    The "let's impeach the President because he is not from our party" band wagon is getting old.

    August 22, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    The right wing zealots have compltely lost their minds.
    There is no reason to impeach our President but they plant the seed and their crazies water it.
    If anyone should have been impeached and since there's no time limit on murder what about shrub #43 the war criminal.

    August 22, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Sen Coburn mentions unnamed policies approaching but not meeting standards for impeachment, not using specifics about intended violations of the law, and potential rather than actual impeachable offenses. I didn't realize that Sen Coburn was such a panderer. The GOP has absolutely no grounds for impeachment and yet they foster this on going fantasy to keep their misinformed base happy. This is really pathetic.

    When the GOP is able to come up with some specifics, then maybe we can take them seriously. Until then, this is yet another load of BS from them.

    August 22, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. Savant Willis

    Is this the best Republicans can do? I see why the GOP is in trouble. Impeach the Tea Party!

    August 22, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Drew

    Never going to happen.

    August 22, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. ghostwriter

    Just admit that there is nothing to impeach him on and be done with this already.....

    August 22, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Pander Bear

    Oh please. This from the party of George W. Bush. Get over yourselves.

    August 22, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. California

    This administration and the leaders of the black community are racists and the Christopher Lane issue is obvious proof of that face.

    Scream racist then be racists yourselves democrats.

    August 22, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Gene Howell

    If Sen.Colburn is serious about impeaching Obama, shouldn't there be a special prosecutor involved to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with an impeachment proceeding? Moreover, why are most Liberals bashing Conservatives and open-minded Liberals for asking for investigations about the IRS, Benghazi, et. al to continue? Do they have something to hide? Really! The more stuff that comes out about these so-called "Phoney Scandals" the more it seems like President Obama is REALLY trying to hide something he doesn't want the American people to know..

    August 22, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. the rt side

    He needs to go....the worst president in american history has done enough damage.....

    August 22, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Dumb and dumber. Another angry old white man of the Republican/Tea Party. What happened to the rebranding of the Republican Party with new and better ideas?

    August 22, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |

    Mr Coburn and his GOP co-horts need to be impeached

    August 22, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP lost the election and you don't get a replay, and guess what, your going to lose the next ten, GOP idiots!!!!!!

    August 22, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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