Is there anything related to Benghazi that could get the president impeached?
Short answer - not yet. For all the words spread around recently about impeaching Obama over Benghazi, there is a curious ommission made in every single article and blog post I've read that advocates or predicts that Obama will be impeached.
They all seem to be missing the words "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Yes, I know - that silly Constitution seems to get in the way of our fun. But in order to impeach a president, you can't just connect a few dots and proclaim conspiracy. There must be proof - hard proof that would stand up in a court of law - and I haven't seen anything yet that remotely reaches that tough standard.
Mike Huckabee disagrees:
"I believe that before it's all over, this president will not fill out his full term. I know that puts me on a limb," the former Arkansas governor said on "The Mike Huckabee Show." "But this is not minor. It wasn't minor when Richard Nixon lied to the American people and worked with those in his administration to cover-up what really happened in Watergate. But, I remind you -- as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die."
Huckabee, however, said his predication about Obama "will not happen" if the Democrats seize control of the House and retain control of the Senate next year.
"If they're able to get control of the House and maintain the Senate, this will not happen because they won't let it happen," Huckabee said.
"And they won't let it happen not because they're protecting just the president, they're trying to protect their entire political party. If they try to protect the president and their party, and do so at the expense of the truth, their president and their party will go down. Now, here's what I'm going to suggest will happen -- as the information and facts begin to come out, it will become so obvious that there was a concerted and very, very deliberate attempt to mislead this country and its people to lie to Congress, as well as to you."
And as the truth about the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi emerges, Huckabee said, "they will have lost the right to govern."
"The highest levels of people in the United States government all the way up to the president knew that what they did tell us was not true," he said. "And they continued to tell it throughout an election season and beyond, and they've tried to change the subject. And when the facts come out, they will not be able to stand. They will have lost the right to govern."
What happened with Benghazi is not a "political issue" -- "this goes all the way to the heart of the integrity of the United States government," Huckabee said.
Impeach a president for lying to the American people? Lying under oath is one thing. But if we impeached a presdient every time he lied to us, they wouldn't last 6 months in office.
We don't yet know what the president was told. Paul Mirengoff at Powerline thinks that Hillary Clinton should be held responsible:
When it first became clear that the CIA's Benghazi talking points had been altered, many of us viewed the White House as the prime suspect. After all, it served President Obama's political purposes to claim, at the height of a political campaign in which he was taking credit for the fall of al Qaeda, that the death of a U.S. ambassador was down to spontaneous outrage over a video, rather than pre-planned terrorism.
It turns out, however, that the State Department was the prime culprit. It was State that pushed back hard against the original talking points. The White House, probably for the political reason cited above, took its side.
Why did State want the talking points changed? Because it had ignored warnings about rising terrorist activity in Libya and had reduced security rather than beefing it up, as our embassy requested.
Under these circumstances, it would not do to attribute the Benghazi killings to the terrorism about which top State Department officials had been warned. Much better to lump what happened in Libya together with the protests that occurred in Egypt, and thereby characterize it as a demonstration that went too far, rather than premeditated terrorism.
Was Hillary Clinton directly involved in this cover-up? It's difficult to see how she could not have been.
Indeed, Stephen Hayes' fantastic article on the talking points doesn't absolve the president, but certainly puts the lion's share of the blame on Clinton.
Put simply, there is no legal case for impeachment at this time. We just don't know enough to make any kind of legal determination that would lead to a House impeachment inquiry.
To get to the bottom of this matter, a select committee of both House and Senate members should be convened with subpoena power to compel administration officials to testify under oath. Only after carefully gathering all the facts can any kind of judgment be made about the president.
That's the constitutional way. And that's the way it should be done.