By Scott Greer
House Republican Duncan Hunter of California says if President Obama orders a military strike on Syria without the approval of Congress, it would constitute an impeachable offense.
The suggestion makes Hunter the 14th member of Congress to raise the prospect of impeaching Obama, though some of those lawmakers have stopped short of calling for proceedings.
The others are Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas; Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; 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.; Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa; and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
“I think he’s breaking the law if he strikes without congressional approval,” Hunter told the Washington Times on Tuesday. “And if he proceeds without Congress providing that authority, it should be considered an impeachable offense.”
Obama is seeking the approval of Congress to use military force in response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. This is despite the fact that the president and his aides believe that they don’t need congressional approval for military action. Some aides have even suggested that Obama could still strike the beleaguered Middle Eastern nation if Congress rejects his proposal.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today approved a resolution allowing Obama to use limited force against Syria.
Hunter, who recently traveled to the Syria-Jordan border, believes military action against Syria would be illegal without the consent of Congress. He also believes that the action that Obama is calling for is ineffective and would serve no real purpose.
“Unless the president’s willing to go to war with Syria and send my Marines back in to another country in the region, you don’t just fire warning shots, and you don’t lob a few missiles and say, OK, wipe your hands, job well done, they’re deterred,” Hunter stated.
Hunter is a former Marine officer who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
His statement comes on the heels of the release of Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliot’s critical new book, “Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office.”
Already, the Daily Mail of London has called “Impeachable Offenses” “explosive,” reporting the book contains a “systematic connect-the-dots exercise that the president’s defenders will find troublesome.”
“Consider this work to be the articles of impeachment against Barack Obama,” stated Klein.
“Every American, whether conservative or liberal, Democrat, Republican or independent, should be concerned about the nearly limitless seizure of power, the abuses of authority, the cronyism, corruption, lies and cover-ups documented in this news-making book,” Klein said.
The authors stress the book is not a collection of generalized gripes concerning Obama and his administration. Rather, it is a well-documented indictment based on major alleged violations.
Among the offenses enumerated in the book:
- Obamacare not only is unconstitutional but illegally bypasses Congress, infringes on states’ rights and marking an unprecedented and unauthorized expansion of IRS power.
- Sidestepping Congress, Obama already has granted largely unreported de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens using illicit interagency directives and executive orders.
- The Obama administration recklessly endangered the public by releasing from prison criminal illegal aliens at a rate far beyond what is publicly known.
- The president’s personal role in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, with new evidence regarding what was transpiring at the U.S. mission prior to the assault – arguably impeachable activities in and of themselves.
- Illicit edicts on gun control in addition to the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation intended, the book shows, to collect fraudulent gun data.
- From “fusion centers” to data mining to drones to alarming Department of Homeland Security power grabs, how U.S. citizens are fast arriving at the stage of living under a virtual surveillance regime.
- New evidence of rank corruption, cronyism and impeachable offenses related to Obama’s first-term “green” funding adventures.
- The illegality of leading a U.S.-NATO military campaign without congressional approval.
- Obama has weakened America both domestically and abroad by emboldening enemies, tacitly supporting a Muslim Brotherhood revolution, spurning allies and minimizing the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.
The White House is hitting back, calling the book’s impeachment effort “foolhardy.”
“If the Republicans in the House want to try something that foolhardy, it will probably be run by the same group of lawmakers who have voted more than 40 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” an unnamed administration official told the Daily Mail.
“Like most of the partisan actions coming out of the House, the Senate would never stoop to dignify it,” the official added.
Klein and Elliott acknowledge that impeachment of a sitting president “is certainly a matter of the utmost gravity, and not a charge to be undertaken for what our Founding Fathers would have called mere ‘factional’ advantage.”
“We will show how Obama has not hesitated to go beyond democratic, legal and constitutional means to advance his radical agenda,” they write.
WND previously reported Sen. Coburn’s statement that Obama is “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.
"Those are serious things, but we’re in a serious time," he said. "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.”
Days earlier, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., said it would be a "dream come true" to impeach 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 consult with attorneys about what it would take to remove Obama from office.
Also interested in Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who responded to questions about impeachment.
“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.
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.
A 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 raising the possibility of 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.