Republican Senator: Obama “getting perilously close” to impeachment
During a recent townhall meeting, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told a room full of constituents that President Barack Obama is “getting perilously close” to the constitutional standard for impeachment, noted the Tulsa World:
As he has many times in the past, Coburn called Obama “a personal friend of mine,” but that did not prevent him from calling the president’s administration lawless and incompetent and “getting perilously close” to the Constitutional standard for impeachment.
He didn’t cite specific reasons for the comments, though at this point you can pick and choose from the scandals of the Obama Administration. Specifically, President Obama’s use of executive orders to enact laws — assuming legislative power, essentially, violating the Constitution’s separation of powers — is a real concern. Another is the NSA’s spying on American citizens.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) recently suggested that there were enough votes in the House to impeach President Obama. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) also told constituents that impeaching President Obama would be “a dream come true.”
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides Congress with the power to impeach and remove a president or vice president. A simple majority in the House is required for impeachment. But removal from office, the power of which lies with the Senate, would require two-thirds majority, which would be virtually impossible due to the current political divisions in the upper chamber.
Only two presidents have been impeached — Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Both were acquitted by the Senate, though Johnson came within one vote of removal on each of the three separate charges against him.