Actor Steven Seagal, whose dozens of films feature action and violence but also have an underlying theme of seeking justice, says President Obama would be impeached if the truth about the Benghazi attack was revealed.
His charge came Feb. 22 in an appearance at the Western Conservative Conference in Phoenix
The U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, by radical Muslims. While immediate intelligence reports indicated it was a planned terrorist attack, for weeks the White House blamed it on a spontaneous protest against an obscure Internet video about Muhammad.
“Never in my life did I ever believe that our country would be taken over by people like the people who are running it this day,” said Seagal.
“I think that when we have a leadership that thinks the Constitution of the United States of America is a joke, when we have a president who has almost 1,000 executive orders now, when we have a Department of Justices that thinks that any kind of a judicial system that they make up as they are going along can get by with whatever they decide that they want to do – like Ted Nugent said the Fast and the Furious, what’s happening with the Fast and the Furious? What’s happened with the truth about any of the greatest scandals of American history that have happened right before our eyes?” Seagal said.
“If the truth about Benghazi were to come out now, I don’t think that this man would make it through his term. I think he would be impeached,” he said.
He called America a “great country” because of its freedom of speech and called on both major political parties to work together the “take this country back.”
“I think we’re right now at that tipping point,” he said.
Seagal’s work over the years has included titles such as “Above the Law,” “Hard to Kill,” “Out for Justice,” “On Deadly Ground,” ” Belly of the Beast,””Urban Warfare,” “Street Wars,” “Lethal Justice” and “Against the Dark.”
The video of his comments were posted on the website of the Western Journalism Center.
Seagal’s comments add to the list of high-profile figures who have discussed the idea of impeachment for Obama.
One group is calling on Americans to converge on Washington on May 16 to protest Obama’s presence. They plan to stay until he and other Washington officials are gone.
The event, organized by U.S. retired Col. Harry Riley, is called Operation American Spring.
Riley said the goal is to remove “corrupt” leaders who violate the Constitution and Bill of Rights, including Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid and Attorney General Eric Holder.
“The out-of-control government leadership must be stopped,” Riley wrote on his Patriots for America website, where he launched the campaign for the rally.
Riley spent more than 34 years in the U.S. military, with tours of duty around the globe. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and other honors.
He’s been active in several other efforts, such as the 2007 Gathering of Eagles, and has been effective enough so that leftists have come out to attack him.
He is calling for the restoration of constitutional government, rule of law and freedom from “despotic and tyrannical federal leadership.”
Riley’s plans seems to align mostly with what another retired military leader, Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, has advocated.
As WND reported, Vallely said it’s time for millions of Americans to “stand up” to a federal government that is “conducting treason … violating the Constitution, violating our laws.”
He’s calling for marches, a legislative vote of “no confidence” in President Obama and congressional leaders, even citizen arrests, drawing inspiration from the 33 million Egyptians who stood up to their government and removed Muslim Brotherhood officials from office.
Riley explains his inspiration comes at least partly from Georgetown professor Jonathan Turley’s recent congressional testimony.
The liberal professor has represented members of Congress in a lawsuit over the Libyan war, represented workers at the secret Area 51 military base and served as counsel on national security cases. He now says Obama is a danger to the U.S. Constitution.
He was addressing a House Judiciary Committee hearing Dec. 4. Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asked him: “Professor Turley, the Constitution, the system of separated powers is not simply about stopping one branch of government from usurping another. It’s about protecting the liberty of Americans from the dangers of concentrated government power. How does the president’s unilateral modification of act[s] of Congress affect both the balance of power between the political branches and the liberty interests of the American people?”
Turley replied: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The danger is quite severe. The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power.”
Congress already is addressing charges that Obama is violating the Constitution.
WND reported when Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Obama’s actions have reached “an unprecedented level, and we’ve got to do something about it.
"Assume that a statute said you had to provide two forms of ID to vote. Can the president require three forms? Can the president require one form? Can you suspend all requirements? If not, why not?" he said. "If you can turn off certain categories of law, do you not also have the power to turn off all categories of law?"
Gowdy cited Obama's decisions to ignore certain immigration laws, even though Congress did not approve the changes. He also cited arbitrary changes to the Obamacare law and Obama's "recess appointments" of judges even though the U.S. Senate was not in recess.
His proposal is for Congress to take the White House to court over the president's actions, through a resolution proposed by Rep. Tom Rice, R-Ga., that would authorize the House to sue the Obama administration. It has 30 co-sponsors.
Rice said that because of "this disregard of our country's checks and balances, many of you have asked me to bring legal action against the president."
"After carefully researching the standing the House of Representatives has and what action we can take, I have introduced a resolution to stop the president's clear overreach," he said.
A Fox News interviewer asked Gowdy if Obama could refuse to enforce election laws.
"Why not?" asked Gowdy, "If you can turn off immigration laws, if you can turn off the mandatory minimum in our drug statutes, if you can turn off the so-called Affordable Care Act – why not election laws?"
WND reported that it was at the same hearing that Michael Cannon, director of Health Policy Studies for the Cato Institute, said there is "one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restraints that the Constitution places of the government."
"Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it," he said.
"That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate. If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws, then they will conclude that neither are they."
Cannon said it is "very dangerous" for the president to "wantonly ignore the laws, to try to impose obligations upon people that the legislature did not approve."
Several members of Congress also contributed their opinions in an interview with talk-show host Sean Hannity.
See the Hannity segment:
Talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh says Obama isn't going to be – in fact, cannot be – impeached. But he also is making the case that the Constitution is in crisis right now, an emergency for which the founders probably created the impeachment process.
"You can't impeach the first black president," he said on his radio show recently. "No matter how corrupt or lawless."
But he said the danger is very high, citing House Speaker John Boehner's recent comments that the House wouldn't adopt amnesty legislature this year because the president probably wouldn't follow it.
"This is the president of the United States effectively nullifying the legislative branch of government," an outraged Limbaugh said. "He's basically saying ... and he has in practically these words, said this, 'I got a pen and I got a phone and if they don't do what I want I'm going to it anyway.'
"That's not a ho-hummer to me. That is major. If the chartered body in our government that makes the law decides not to because they don't think it'll matter, because the executive branch will just ignore it, I mean that's a breach of serious proportion," he said.
"That is a constitutional challenge and crisis that is very real that nobody apparently has the courage to do anything about because of the president's race," he said.
Ambassador Alan Keyes, however, wrote in a WND column that Limbaugh isn't right about impeachment.
"When Rush Limbaugh says that 'efforts to try to have Obama impeached or held personally responsible for these scandals is a bunch of wasted effort,' he is saying that, on account of the politics of our times, this fundamental aspect of the U.S. Constitution no longer matters. With all due respect to Rush Limbaugh (and my respect for him is sizable and sincere), I beg to differ. The judgment about 'wasted effort' depends on what we're trying to achieve. If politics is just a partisan game, with no goal but to score points for one side or the other, it may be reasonable to conclude that impeachment is a wasted effort. After all, the Democrats who control the U.S. Senate will never allow Obama to be removed from office. Doesn't this make impeachment impossible? "
He continued, "Mr. Limbaugh is right to assume that impeachment is inherently political. In this respect his view accords with that of Alexander Hamilton, who wrote (in Federalist No. 65) that '… the subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed … from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.'"
But Keyes said, "The difference between Limbaugh and Hamilton, however, is that when Mr. Limbaugh speaks of politics he is referring to the competition of partisan factions. But for Hamilton politics means the business of citizens, i.e., individuals characterized by their concern for the common good of their society as a whole, not just their own personal, factional, partisan interests. From Hamilton's perspective, the way elected representatives handle such offenses is therefore a test of their concern for the common good. If they act, or refuse to act, based solely on whether by doing so they advance their personal or factional agenda, they show their contempt for the well-being of the nation as a whole. They thereby prove themselves unfit for the offices (duties) they hold, whether or not they are ever called to account for their dereliction."
Last year, a poll showed those advocating impeachment nearly equal to those against it. For example, regarding Obama's campaign for amnesty to illegals, 44 percent say he should be impeached for that, while only 48 percent say he should not. And 46 percent say they think Obama should be impeached for launching the war to remove Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, while 49 percent say no.
"Taken by itself, any of these questions about President Obama could be ignored, but it becomes much more questionable when all of these … administration actions are taken as a whole," said Fritz Wenzel, whose public opinion and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies conducted the poll.
Rock legend and gun-rights defender Ted Nugent said there's "no question" Obama should be impeached, and he's calling CNN anchor Piers Morgan an "effective idiot" in the battle over the Second Amendment.
Referring to Obama, Nugent says: "There's no question that this guy's violations qualify for impeachment. There's no question."
He blasted "the criminality of this government, the unprecedented abuse of power, corruption, fraud and deceit by the Chicago gangster-scammer-ACORN-in-chief."
"It's so diabolical," he said.
Nugent made his comments in a recent interview with radio host Alex Jones.
Even Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin called for the impeachment of Obama over his policy of permitting drone strikes on American citizens overseas who are members of terrorist organizations.
On WABC Radio's "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio," Benjamin affirmed she believes the drone warfare is an impeachable offense.
Among members of Congress, the idea has been getting more and more attention.
The latest to comment was Rep. Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican who is seeking to replace the retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
A video from a forum featuring candidates for Chambliss' seat shows Broun and two others, Derrick Grayson, an engineer, and Eugene Yu, a businessman, raising their hands when asked whether they would support impeachment.
A forum moderator asked the candidates: "Obama has perjured himself on multiple occasions. Would you support impeachment if presented for a vote?"
Broun, Grayson and Yu raised their hands.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa; Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas; Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas; Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.; and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
Several, including King and Farenthold, made comments in interviews with Sean Hannity.
King pointed to the president's actions on immigration, such as his orders for authorities not to enforce current immigration law, as grounds for impeachment.
He said there are multiple violations related to Obamacare and asserted the president's "recess" appointments of judges when the Senate was not actually in recess also is worthy.
The "uber-presidency," King said, has little or no respect for the Constitution.
Farenthold said Obama "is grabbing as much power as he can," but Congress also is doing little to draw in the reins.
The two said that politically, Obama is exercising great power and believes Congress cannot or will not stop him.
"The president knows it; he's exploiting it," King said.
Stockman even handed out in Congress copies of a book that has been described by its authors as the "articles of impeachment" for Barack Obama. Stockman suggested that special investigations and possibly prosecutions are needed in response to Fast and Furious, Benghazi and other Obama scandals.
Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, was speaking at a town hall meeting when he considered the idea. A video of his comments was posted at the Western Center for Journalism.
"I've looked at the president. I think he's violated the Constitution. I think he's violated the Bill of Rights," he said.
He said at some point a decision must be made.
"I think if the House had an impeachment vote, it would probably impeach the president."
But he noted there are only 46 members of the GOP in the U.S. Senate, where an impeached president would be put on trial.
To obtain a conviction, the prosecuting team must have 67 votes, and he wasn't sure even all of the GOP members would vote to convict.
"I think he's breaking the law if he strikes without congressional approval," Hunter told the Washington Times regarding Obama's plan to bomb Syria. "And if he proceeds without Congress providing that authority, it should be considered an impeachable offense."
WND previously reported 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."
Coburn said it's "not something you take lightly, and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means."
Earlier, Bentivolio 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 his experience with the president caused him to consult with attorneys about what it would take to remove Obama from office.
Cruz responded to a question about impeachment after a speech.
"It's a good question," Cruz said. "And I'll tell you the simplest answer: To successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate."
In May, Inhofe 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 the most egregious cover-up in American history."
But even with that searing indictment, Inhofe, too, stopped short of calling for impeachment.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has offered tentative support for impeachment.
"I'm not willing to take it off the table, but that's certainly not what we're striving for," he told CNN.
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 on his website in June 2011 a list of reasons for impeachment.
Other figures who have discussed impeachment include Glenn Beck, Watergate investigative reporter Bob Woodward, WND columnist Nat Hentoff and a panel of top constitutional experts.
Stockman recently distributed copies of the book, "Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama From Office," to the other 434 members of the House of Representatives to bolster his case for a special investigation of the president.
The bestselling "Impeachable Offenses" presents an indictment that goes well beyond today’s headlines.
The Daily Mail of London has called "Impeachable Offenses" "explosive," reporting that the book contains a "systematic connect-the-dots exercise that the president's defenders will find troublesome."
Voters in Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine's Oklahoma district may look meek and mild, maybe even sweet, but their opinions of President Obama reveal nothing but a battleground "take-no-prisoners" attitude.
One lady, for example, said there needs to be changes in the Senate so "we can impeach the S-O-B."
Said another: "He's not president as far as I'm concerned. … Should be executed. He's an enemy combatant."
She complained that Congress is doing nothing, and that "allows this moron to make decisions."
"He has no authority. None."
The video was uploaded just this week, but it's unclear when the meeting was held, and the congressman's office was unable to provide details immediately.
At one point the congressman references "back in April 2013," and it appears to be winter, so likely it was recorded in the past few months.
The congressman had been documenting Obama's "lawlessness."