Coburn: Obama getting ‘perilously close’ to impeachment standard

August 22, 2013

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said at a town hall Wednesday that President Obama may not have committed impeachable offense yet, but that he's getting "perilously close."

"I think those are serious things, but we're in serious times," Coburn said in Muskogee, Okla., when asked about impeachment. "And I don't have the legal background to know if that rises to 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' but I think you're getting perilously close."

Coburn's remarks were first reported by the Tulsa World.

Coburn qualified his remarks repeatedly, noting that he doesn't "know where that level is."

"I think there's some intended violation of law in this administration, but I also think there's a ton of incompetence," Coburn said, adding: "I am fed up. I am frustrated. I am happy to raise an issue at every point."

Coburn then noted that while he likes Obama personally, that won't effect whether he would pursue something like impeachment.

"Barack Obama is a personal friend of mine; he became my friend in the Senate," Coburn said. "But that does not mean I agree in any way with what he's doing or how he's doing it.

"If it continues, I think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the president."

A few House Republicans have also raised the idea of impeachment in recent days.

(The remarks begin at about the 1:07:00 mark in the video above.)

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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