Ironically, say the Republicans, it is the Democrats who are talking up impeachment.
"You know, this might be the first White House in history that's trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president," House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on this week's Fox News Sunday. Dan Pfeiffer, Obama's deputy communications director, linked impeachment to immigration when speaking with the Christian Science Monitor last Friday, telling the editorial board the president plans to take "very significant" executive action regarding the immigration laws. Obama has promised to act "on my own, without Congress" to implement immigration reform measures in Senate-passed bill that has been stalled in the House for over a year.
"The president acting on immigration reform will certainly up the likelihood that [Republicans] would contemplate impeachment at some point," said Pfeiffer, claiming that House Speaker John Boehner has opened the door to an impeachment effort with plans to bring suit against the president over executive orders delaying provisions of ObamaCare.
"This is a fundraising exercise for Democrats," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel in an e-mail response to Pfeiffer's impeachment comments. "It is telling, and sad, that a senior White House official is focused on political games, rather than helping these kids and securing the border," Steel added, referring to the thousands of unaccompanied children who have crossed the border into Texas. But after the House Rules Committee authorized the lawsuit in a partisan 7-4 vote last Thursday, Michelle Obama uttered the "I-word" in a fundraising speech in Chicago.
"If we lose these midterm elections," the First Lady warned, "it's going to be a whole lot harder to finish what we started because we'll just see more of the same out in Washington — more obstructions, more lawsuits, and talk about impeachment." The message appears to have been coordinated by the White House, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent out an e-mail Friday night, telling Democratic supporters: "Yesterday, for the first time in history, Congress voted to sue a sitting president. Today, the White House alerted us that they believe 'Speaker Boehner ... has opened the door to impeachment.'" The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee joined the chorus with a melodramatic e-mail announcing a "RED ALERT."
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