- Rep. Matt Gaetz suggested impeaching President Barack Obama while speaking in a House Judiciary Committee hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
- After questioning the Democratic-invited legal expert Pamela Karlan on Democratic campaign donations, Gaetz referenced a 2013 incident in which the National Security Agency monitored calls of world leaders.
- The White House said at the time that Obama had no knowledge of the wiretapping.
- Gaetz said if “wiretapping political opponents is a political offence … a different president” should be impeached.
- Former presidents can actually still be impeached.
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Rep. Matt Gaetz suggested impeaching former President Barack Obama on Wednesday during a hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Gaetz made the comment during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in which legal experts were testifying as part of the impeachment inquiry.
After questioning the Democratic-invited witness Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor, on her donations to Democratic campaigns, Gaetz suggested “a different” president should be impeached.
“If wiretapping political opponents is a political offence, I look forward to reading that inspector general’s report because maybe it’s a different president we should be impeaching,” Gaetz said on Wednesday.
Gaetz was likely referencing an incident in 2013, when it was revealed that the National Security Agency was monitoring the calls of 35 world leaders during the Obama administration. The White House said at the time that Obama had no knowledge of the wiretapping.
A former president can actually be impeached. They cannot be removed from an office they have already left, but legal scholars told Slate that impeached former presidents could be barred from serving in any future federal-government positions, elective or appointive.
Watch Gaetz make the suggestion below:
Matt Gaetz closes by threatening to … [quints at notes] …. impeach the ghost of President Obama pic.twitter.com/ppBjRCC9em
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2019
After facing flack online for his comment, Gaetz defended what he said.
You actually can impeach a former President, FWIW
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 4, 2019
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump in September. They’re investigating whether or not Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine on the condition that the country’s top officials investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Much of the inquiry is focused on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
House representatives previously heard testimony from several fact witnesses, some of whom had direct knowledge of the phone call.
- Read more:
- The GOP’s only impeachment witness on Wednesday contradicted his own previous testimony
- Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan used an analogy involving a disaster in Texas to break down why she thinks Trump should be impeached
- Watch the House Judiciary Committee’s first public Trump impeachment hearing
- Progressive impeachment legal witness Pamela Karlan unexpectedly cited Brett Kavanaugh to argue foreign nationals shouldn’t interfere in US elections
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