Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn's comments on impeachment draw fire

Former adviser to President Barack Obama says Sen. Tom Coburn's remarks at a town hall meeting in Muskogee this week were “plainly absurd.”
by Chris Casteel Published: August 24, 2013

Sen. Tom Coburn's comments in Muskogee this week regarding the potential impeachment of President Barack Obama drew heavy criticism on Friday from a former top aide to the president, who called the remarks “plainly absurd” and “way out of bounds.”

David Axelrod, who served as a campaign and White House adviser to Obama, said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” program that there obviously was not going to be an impeachment and that comments like Coburn's “were a kind of virus that's infected our politics.”

Coburn, R-Muskogee, said at a town hall meeting on Wednesday that some unspecified actions by the president were “perilously close” to high crimes and misdemeanors that qualify for impeachment under the U.S. Constitution.

He said Obama had put himself in a difficult position.

If it continues, “I think we're going to see another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the presidency.”

Coburn's comments came at the end of a 70-minute town hall meeting in which he debated some participants about the effort to defund Obamacare; Coburn is opposed to the strategy by some Republicans to deny funding for the health care law as a condition for funding the rest of government.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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