Efforts to impeach Barack Obama

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President Obama

During the presidency of Barack Obama, Republican congressmembers have stated that Obama should be impeached and removed from office.[1] Rationales offered for impeachment have included an alleged White House cover-up after the 2012 Benghazi attack.[2] No Congressional Representative has drawn up a list of articles of impeachment and proposed them to the Judiciary Committee, as happened in the efforts to impeach George W. Bush.

Suggestions of impeachment[edit]

In October 2010, prior to the elections in which Republicans won control of the House, Jonathan Chait published an article in The New Republic called "Scandal TBD" where he predicted that if Republicans were to win control of the House, and Barack Obama were to win re-election in 2012, the Republicans would try to impeach Obama and use any reason possible as pretext.[3]

2010: Darrell Issa[edit]

In May 2010, Republican Darrell Issa of California stated that the allegation that the White House had offered Pennsylvania Representative Joe Sestak a job to persuade Sestak to drop out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary election against Arlen Specter "is one that everyone from Arlen Spector to Dick Morris has said is in fact a crime, and could be impeachable".[4] With the possibility of becoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in January 2011, Issa said in October 2010 that the committee would not seek to impeach Obama.[5]

2011: Michael C. Burgess[edit]

In August 2011, Republican Congressman Michael C. Burgess of Texas stated that the impeachment of Barack Obama "needs to happen" in order to prevent Obama from "pushing his agenda".[6]

2012: Jon Kyl[edit]

In June 2012, Senator Jon Kyl said on the Bill Bennett radio show that "impeachment is always a possibility" when discussing the Obama Administration policy on immigration.[7]

May 2013: James Inhofe, Benghazi attack[edit]

In May 2013, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma stated that President Obama "could be impeached over what he alleged was a White House cover-up after last year's attack in Benghazi, Libya".[2] Inhofe said that "of all the great cover-ups in history—the Pentagon papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate, all the rest of them—this ... is going to go down as most egregious cover-up in American history".[2] Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah also stated in an interview that impeachment was "within the realm of possibilities" with regard to the September 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, later clarifying that "it's not something I'm seeking" and that "I'm not willing to take that off the table. But that's certainly not what we're striving for."[8]

August 2013: Tom Coburn, Blake Farenthold, Kerry Bentivolio[edit]

In August 2013, Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma responded to a questioner in a town hall meeting, who had asserted that President Obama was failing to carry out his constitutional responsibilities, by saying that "you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president... and that's called impeachment".[9][10] Coburn added, "I don't have the legal background to know if that rises to 'high crimes and misdemeanors', but I think you're getting perilously close".[9] Coburn did not specify what grounds he felt would support impeachment, but NBC News noted that Coburn "mentioned that he believes Department of Homeland Security officials have told career USCIS employees to 'ignore' background checks for immigrants".[9]

At a town hall meeting with constituents, Congressman Blake Farenthold said that Obama should be impeached due to issues with Obama's birth certificate. Farenthold said that he thinks that "the House is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue."[11]

On August 19, 2013, Republican Congressman Kerry Bentivolio stated that if he could write articles of impeachment, "it would be a dream come true". To help in achieving that goal, he retained experts and historians.[12][13]

December 2013[edit]

On December 3, 2013, 'the House Judiciary committee held a hearing on Obama, formally titled "The President's Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws," that has been viewed as an attempt to begin justifying impeachment proceedings.[14]

See also[edit]


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