WASHINGTON – The momentum to remove the president is growing rapidly, as almost every day another lawmaker raises the possibility of impeaching President Obama.
Now, it’s Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, who said Wednesday the president is getting “perilously close” to qualifying for impeachment.
Speaking at the Muskogee Civic Center in Oklahoma, the senator said, “What you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president, and that’s called impeachment.”
“That’s not something you take lightly, and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means. I think there’s some intended violation of the law in this administration, but I also think there’s a ton of incompetence, of people who are making decisions.”
A constituent then responded, “Even if there is incompetence, the IRS forces me to abide by the law.”
Coburn said he agreed, and added, Those are serious things, but we’re in a serious time. I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanor, but I think they’re getting perilously close.”
The senator took pains to make clear that it was nothing personal against the president.
“Barack Obama is personal friend of mine. He became my friend in the Senate but that does not mean I agree in any way with what he’s doing or how he’s doing it. And I quite frankly think he’s in a difficult position he’s put himself in, and if it continues, I think we’re going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the presidency,” the Oklahoman observed.
Coburn is just the latest lawmaker to openly speculating about the possibility of impeaching President Obama.
On Monday, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., said it would be a "dream come true" to impeach President Barack Obama.
Bentivolio told the Birmingham Bloomfield Republican Club Meeting, "You know, if I could write that bill and submit it, it would be a dream come true."
He told constituents, "I feel your pain and I know. I stood 12 feet away from that guy and listened to him, and I couldn't stand being there. But because he is president I have to respect the office. That's my job as a congressman. I respect the office."
Bentivolio said that experience with the president caused him to actually consult with attorneys about what it would take to remove Obama from office.
“These are lawyers, Ph.D.s in history, and I said, ‘Tell me how I can impeach the president of the United States.’”
But, as with other lawmakers who've discussed the issue recently, Bentivolio stopped short of saying it's time to file articles of impeachment, while acknowledging some significant hurdles.
"Until we have evidence, you're going to become a laughing stock if you've submitted the bill to impeach the president because, No. 1, you've got to convince the press," Bentivolio warned.
"There are some people out there no matter what Obama does he's still the greatest president they've ever had. That's what you're fighting," the congressman concluded.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, echoed those remarks at an event Monday, when asked about impeaching the president.
“It’s a good question,” Cruz responded.
“And I’ll tell you the simplest answer: To successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate."
Republicans would also need the votes in the House, which Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, thinks they have.
Just last week, Farenthold said he is often asked why Congress doesn't impeach the president.
He said he answers, "[I]f we were to impeach the president tomorrow, we would probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it.”
But, like Cruz, Farenthold sees the lack of votes in the Senate as a roadblock.
The congressman also worries about what would happen if they tried to impeach Obama and failed. He believes the unsuccessful attempt to impeach President Clinton hurt the country.
In May, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., suggested Obama could be impeached over a White House cover-up after the attack in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
He told listeners of "The Rusty Humphries Show," “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."
But even with that searing indictment, Inhofe, too, stopped short of calling for impeachment.
Another lawmaker who has offered tentative support for impeachment is Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who said in May he considers it a possibility.
"I’m not willing to take it off the table, but that’s certainly not what we’re striving for,” he told CNN.
Other members of Congress who have uttered about possible impeachment for a variety of reasons in recent years include Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.; and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.
One Republican actually has come out and called for the impeachment of Obama, and he did it more than two years ago – before he became a congressman.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., posted a list of reasons on his website in June 2011, before he was elected to office in 2012.
1) Breaking his oath to uphold the Constitution.
2) Attacking a non-threatening country.
3) We are a sovereign nation and do not take commands from the U.N. or NATO.
4) Not responding within the required 60 days to inform and justify to Congress why he used the War Powers Act (which is reserved for National emergency and threats to our country by foreign invaders when Congress is convened).
5) Creating and passage of the proven unconstitutional Affordable Patient Health Care Act.
6) The unconstitutional Nationalization of GM and Chrysler.
A growing public interest in impeachment may be evidenced by the huge advance sales for WND's latest book, "Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office." (Order online at the WND Superstore and the book comes with a free Impeach Obama bumper sticker.)
"Impeachable Offenses," to be published by WND Books on Aug. 27, has already gone into its third printing, co-author Aaron Klein said, “due to unexpected demand from bookstores.”
“Clearly a large segment of the population is concerned Obama has overstepped his executive authority and has used his office to circumvent Congress to change, ignore, or at times perhaps invent de facto law," he added.
WND Books CEO Joseph Farah told Buzzfeed, "We knew this was going to be a popular book. What we didn’t realize is that retailers would recognize it in advance and place large orders before the public weighed in."
The impeachment passion has been evident in growing numbers on the streets of America in recent weeks.
WND first reported on the booming movement "Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment" in July, and now the group claims it has mushroomed to 40,000 members across America to become "the largest grassroots movement in the nation" in the few weeks since it was launched in June.
The group's national website has links to Facebook pages of groups in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.
And it is on those Facebook pages that organizers recruit and inform, while fellow members share their experiences and bond, as the group's Internet-age version of grassroots democracy takes root and flourishes in cyberspace and on the streets.
The clout of "Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment" is growing so fast, Press Secretary Jennifer Hitt told WND, "We would like to get to the point we can help fund a 2016 candidate. The movement started with the main Facebook page, grew to the state Facebook pages, and now we are trying to get most people to register on our state forums on the website, Overpasses.org."
"Overpasses to Impeach Obama" has gone from local protests to nationwide events. The first "National Patriot Wave" was held Aug. 6, with rallies in more than 300 American cities and towns. "National Patriot Wave II" on Aug. 17 had planned for rallies in all 50 states.
Hitt said the buzz isn't limited to one area: "It's nationwide. The energy is crazy high."
WND has reported Watergate investigator Bob Woodward of the Washington Post compares Obama to Richard Nixon. Even Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin has called for Obama’s removal.
It is addressed to Congress and cites a number of scandals in just the last few weeks and months.
Among them are the “lethal and prolonged terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, and the subsequent ‘Watergate-era cover-up.’” And then there’s the big – and getting bigger – scandal involving the federal government’s use of the Internal Revenue Service to harass and attack conservative groups.
There’s also the spying and harassment of journalists.
“Top constitutional attorneys from across the political spectrum now agree that Obama has committed certain specific offenses that unquestionably rise to the level of impeachable ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,” the petition explains.
And that’s even before the issue of “Obama’s policy of targeted assassinations of U.S. citizens without any constitutionally required due process – including the drone assassination of an American-born 16-year-old as he was eating dinner.”
There’s also the “disastrous ‘Fast and Furious’ operation in which approximately 2,000 firearms were directed from U.S. gun shops across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the hands of members of Mexican drug cartels.”
The petition also cites Obama’s refusal to fulfill his obligation to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
That’s all in addition to the alleged illegal “recess” appointments of several officials as well as the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to prosecute voter intimidation, his appointment of 30 “czars” and general contempt for Congress and the American people.
The petition states: “Therefore, we the undersigned urge Congress to immediately undertake a full and impartial investigation into the many blatantly unconstitutional actions of Barack Obama. For members of Congress, each of whom has also sworn a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution, to allow a president to routinely flout the Supreme Law of the land without being held accountable is equally repugnant to a free country and a free press.”
Tens of thousands already are on board with the effort, which is just the latest in a long string of calls for impeachment or an investigation.