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. Jean Sartre

    "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."

    So, in other words, Coburn doesn't have a clue regarding any legal grounds impeachment – May I suggest he review Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon and his numerous felonies – however, apparently President Obama, as "his friend" is really getting close...

    I'm pleased that Tommy is from Oklahoma; you country-fried folks can keep this know-nothing cretin...

    August 22, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  2. California

    He's absolutely correct.

    I'm sure CNN won't post this.

    August 22, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  3. glennrobert

    None of the above congressmen stated just what Obama has or has not done to deserve impeachment. Please be specific! Yes, you have the votes in the house do you expect to win in the Senate? This is the kind of thinking that lost you the last presidential election. Go on bad mouthing Hillary she needs the free advertising!

    August 22, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    That's right, keep playing to your ignorant base of fear baiters who just eat this nonsense up. This impeachment thing is yet the latest w et dream by the republican party to try and stay alive. These people are losing their minds (payback) just as their god Ronnie did but on a much bigger, visible and grander scale. Face it republicans, YOU ARE DONE, FINISHED and your days of occupying the White House, starting unnecessary wars and bankrupting the American people has come to an END.

    August 22, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  5. rs

    Legal standard!? What legal standard? Being a Democrat? Pretty rich coming from the party that lied the U.S. into two wars, started the NSA spying operations and crashed the economy. Here's a hint Senator: list the specifics of your so-called legal standard- let's look your fantasy over-bring them to a vote in the House and watch your party become completely un-electable for a decade.

    August 22, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. Name Uche Agonsi

    What manner of people are these present crops of Repubs that not only use words irresponsibly but arrogantly. How do you talk of impeaching the POTUS publicly without mentioning a single crime or misdeamenor he committed. The appointees are 'incompetent' but the get the job done, his bad policies are the ones that made US survive the crushing recession from GWB Presidency.......Tom Coburn is not Obama's friend, but a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    August 23, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  7. Donkey Party

    Impeach him for what, you insane ignorant right-wing filth??? If the President gets impeached, the GOP should be shot for treason, only fair.

    August 23, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  8. Jorman

    No one cares
    Lol

    August 23, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  9. FrankinSD

    More evidence, as if any were needed, that conservatism has become a form of mental illness.

    August 23, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  10. Zerubbabel

    I would have more respect for these folks if they just told the truth. It kills them to have a black man living in the White House. Where was their outrage when no WMD's were found or when a CIA agent was outed or when 8 US embassies were attacked or when 9/11 occurred despite intelligence warnings? The truth shall set you free, maybe they should try that instead of the J. J. koolaide that they have been drinking, it will not lead to their destruction.

    August 23, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  11. Dale

    Senator: Where were your calls for impeachment when W lied about weapons of mass destruction and Reagan illegally traded weapons?. What has President Obama done that would warrant impeachment other that being overwhelmingly elected president?

    August 23, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  12. Captain Kirk

    What is the hold up repubs? Quit talking about impeachment and go ahead and do it. And once again you (Repubs) will be wasting time obstructing. CAN'T FIX STUPID.

    August 23, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. Why

    Instead of focusing on Obama and looking for ways to impeach him. Pass a bill or implement one. You have done nothing for the people who voted for you. Come up with an alternative to OBamacare. Do something.

    August 23, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  14. Chad Huffman

    So, what has Obama done except be a democratic president at odds with the republicans? If so what's new.

    August 23, 2013 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  15. Phillip

    If Republicans put as much effort into governing and doing the business of the taxpayers/voters, as they do into disparaging, obstructing, disrespecting, and trying to find fault with the President, we'd be really moving along well. But since they just can't get around the idea of a black man as President, their actions only speak for themselves, particualrly in the south. OH and BTW HoR has to have 2/3 votes to impeach

    August 23, 2013 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  16. Nothing At All

    Not to have impeached George W Bush for the crimes he committed and to mention Barack Obama in the same breath is absolutely ridiculous.

    August 23, 2013 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  17. Rocky Landing

    Republicans never learn. They impeached Clinton, too, and the American people saw it for the political theatre that it was. The more time the republicans waste with trying to undermine Obama by any means possible, while refusing to do their actual jobs of legislating, the more fed up the American people will become.

    August 23, 2013 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  18. Sofia

    The ignorance of this country saddens me. After everything Bush put this country through I'm astounded that this is even a discussion. I pity those who agree with Coburn.

    August 23, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  19. T-Thaddeus

    Republicans have no interest either in jobs or economic improvement in general.
    They instead are doing everything they can to assure the economy stagnates so they can impeach President Obama.

    This level of political fanaticism is close to treason.

    People are suffering and republicans could not care less.

    I run a small business, that deals with real estate and finance. My income level is well above the amount that will be taxed heavily under Democrat polices. But I am a big picture sort of business man, & I see where this is going. The GOP polices have not helped my business or this country. If the dept ceiling is not lifted because of there obstructionism I am going to take it to the streets and protest every GOP candidate in Californian. To the hell with the GOP, they have sold-this-­­country-o­ut........­.­.....Their representatives should be tried for treason!

    August 23, 2013 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  20. MesaMax

    Impeachment will never happen. The Liberals will say, regardless of what Obama does, that racism is driving calls for an impeachment. Facts are irrelevant. The same skin color that got him elected will keep him from being impeached. And America suffers..................................

    August 23, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  21. Oliver A. Dyer

    Honestly, can our politics get anymore insane? What high crime or law has the president committed and/or broken? Look I know politicians must raise tons of money to run campaigns. So often they will say things they know will get their so called "base" motivated to give money. I did not see calls to impeach President Bush rise to this level when we learned the "WMD's" in Iraq were a hoax,... 4,000 lives later.

    Why not educate the general voting population? Tell them the truth he will not be impeached unless he commits a high crime or breaks a law.

    August 23, 2013 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  22. Simon Lloyd

    Why, they impeached clinton, didn't do anything. Stop wasting time and make laws you jerks.

    August 23, 2013 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  23. ghost

    What are you GOPers waiting on. Get it over with. Slim is Slim. Stop with the slander and do it. The KLAN is hard at work. CLINTON 2016

    August 23, 2013 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  24. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The stupid brain dead idiot GOP thinks they can change the election results by trickery but guess what GOP, you lost the 2012 election and nothing you GOP goofs do can change it!!!!! Nothing you can do is going to get any GOP pig in the White House , GOP losers!!!!!!

    August 23, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  25. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Wackos never have specifics. They have nothing.

    August 23, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
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