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. TomInRochNY

    More red meat to get themselves re-elected. If anyone should be impeached it should be most members of Congress. Especially the ones who aren't doing their jobs.

    August 23, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  2. jboh

    More nonsense from the head of the C Street party hounds. President Obama has not committed anything close to an impeachable offense. TEA/GOP nonsense is antiAmerican, divisive, and totally irresponsible. Quit throwing temper tantrums
    for your base, and start doing the peoples' business. GROW UP!

    August 23, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  3. wakeup

    @Name
    Who is destroying middle class ? The current administration is pandering to the lower class and upper class. The middle class is left to pay for everything with the new Obamacare and taxes...

    August 23, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  4. On Streetwise

    Bush #43 crossed that line long ago and Sen. Coburn didn't raised a single peep... GOP'ers are sooooooooo phony, shallow and transparence. Whats new... next question senator.

    August 23, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  5. Mike Texoma

    This guy is such a facile hypocrite he could give lessons. Then I look at the rest of his party, and I think he probably has!

    August 23, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  6. Luis

    To hear Obama talk is like watching a Saturday Night Live sitcom. It's all a joke and a farce!

    August 23, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    I think it is pretty obvious what the top Republican priority is: impeach Pres. Obama. Judging from the content and character of all of the hearings they've conducted about one fabricated scandal after another, let's hope they do not get the votes to pass a conviction.

    It would seem that the actual charge is immaterial. Getting enough votes is all that's relevant. Republicans would impeach Pres. Obama for doing his own laundry if they had enough votes. It doesn't matter anymore. The hard right has had a hair in the wrong place against a Democratic president ever since the Nixon/Agnew disgraces in the early 1970's.

    August 23, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  8. Malory Archer

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

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In other words President Obama isn't doing anything "impeachable". coburn doesn't know what he's talking about and is just blowing smoke in order to appease the haters.

    August 23, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    So Bush, Cheney and klan lie us into two wars, crash the economy and cause a recession but that wasn't an impeachable offense but made up phony scandals are?? Who votes these idiots into office?? All they do is lie and obstruct.

    August 23, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -ED1

    Don't worry about the Middle East Obama a bus tour is much more important.

    Another reason that the people that voted for this no leadership president should worry.

    The Republicans won the House again for a reason to keep Obama in check.
    ***********************
    they won it through gerrymandering, and with fewer votes overall than their Democratic counterparts.

    August 23, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    Luis
    To hear Obama talk is like watching a Saturday Night Live sitcom. It's all a joke and a farce!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Can you provide some credible examples please? No? Didn't think so but thanks for playing.

    August 23, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. tea party days are numbered

    keep talking you mentally unstable right wing lunatics , you shoot yourself in the foot each time, i know , try this, but i know its beyond your get rid of the black president mentallity, why don't you actually do something good for the middle class instead of big money corporations, that would be a new approach.

    August 23, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  13. fayray11x

    the GOP is what is way past the point of impeachment. but not to worry, outside of the areas they gerrymandered and aren't full of mental cases like this guy, they are heading toward relic status as a party.

    August 23, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  14. jinx9to88

    @ Anonymous

    Where is our mr. Obama ? He is not working.
    -----–

    Is Congress back from their month long vacation from doing a whole lot of nothing? Typical GOP Hypocrite!

    August 23, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  15. DaveM

    Toxic partisan rhetoric that Americans are tired of. These idiots need to spend more time working for the people that elected them rather rather than wasting effort on ridiculous political posturing...

    August 23, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Tampa Tim observed on page 2:

    Being black is now an impeachable offense, according to right wingnuts.
    ---------------------------
    Let's all hope that Tim is wrong.

    I don't know the reason why Republicans want to impeach Pres. Obama, but I do know that they don't need a reason. Simply having enogh votes is just cause enough for them.

    August 23, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  17. Malory Archer

    MesaMax, what has President Obama done that you believe is an impeachable offense?

    August 23, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Malory Archer

    MesaMax, what has President Obama done that you believe is an impeachable offense?
    ----------–
    Trespassing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C.

    August 23, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. Malory Archer

    @ Anonymous

    Where is our mr. Obama ? He is not working.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I know, right? He should be at his desk, passing legislation and appointing judges and cabinet members while the congress enjoys their five week vacation!!! It's just not fair that he won't do what your ilk accuses him of doing!

    August 23, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  20. Wake up People!

    Thank you Rudy!!!!

    August 23, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    I know one thing. I wouldn't want this dude referring to me as a " friend". With friends like him, who the hell needs enemies?

    So the #1 goal of the Republican party now is to impeach President Obama, since their first #1 goal failed miserably. Is this what they were elected to do? They should all be impeached.

    August 23, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Malory Archer wrote

    "Where is our mr. Obama ? He is not working."

    I know, right? He should be at his desk, passing legislation and appointing judges and cabinet members while the congress enjoys their five week vacation!!! It's just not fair that he won't do what your ilk accuses him of doing!
    ------------------
    If Pres. Obama was making recess appointments of judges and cabinet members, Republicans would accuse him of treason and violating the Constitution. They've done it before.

    August 23, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    They tried with Clinton urged by the radical fringe and shamed themselves in the process. This abuse of legislative power just because they resent this president might be the Republican's swang song. A party committing political suicide stemming from pure hatred is a sad event to watch. The country deserves better than an unleashed Republican Taliban punishing democracy for working.

    August 23, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Again, thank you Rudy!!

    August 23, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. bkspirit

    obama has been a fraud from the start- he needs to be ridiculed out of office.... admitting to as he said "my muslim faith".

    August 23, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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