By Jeremy Herb - 05/10/13 03:22 PM EDT
Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeThis week: Defense, energy bills top agenda Week ahead: Chemical safety bill nears finish line Senate set for showdown over women in the draft MORE (R-Okla.) suggested that President Obama could be impeached over what he alleged was a White House cover-up after last year’s attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in an interview Thursday with “The Rusty Humphries Show” that impeachment would become an issue soon over the “greatest cover-up in American history.”
“People may be starting to use the I-word before too long,” Inhofe said.
“The I-word meaning impeachment?” Humphries asked.
“Of all the great cover-ups in history — the Pentagon papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate, all the rest of them — this ... is going to go down as most egregious cover-up in American history,” Inhofe said.
When Humphries suggested that the Democratic-controlled Senate would not impeach the president, Inhofe said that was true. He said that Benghazi would "endure" and impeachment could come after the 2014 midterm elections, when Republicans hope to retake control of the upper chamber.
Republicans have accused the Obama administration of changing the “talking points” about last year’s attack in Benghazi for political gain in the heat of the 2012 presidential election.
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate there.
Republicans say the talking points used by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice intentionally downplayed the al Qaeda connections and falsely blamed the attack on a spontaneous protest.
The House Oversight Committee held an emotional hearing this week where the No. 2 diplomat in Libya said his “jaw dropped” when he heard Rice’s comments.
The White House has said the revisions to the talking points were made by the intelligence community, but ABC News reported Friday that the State Department played a key role in editing out the al Qaeda references.
Republicans have homed in on former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSanders blasts Clinton at Calif. rally for rejecting debate Michelle Fields warns Clinton camp: 'Don’t treat Trump as serious candidate’ Sanders steps up his attacks in homestretch MORE’s role in the attack. Sen. Rand PaulRand Paul 5 takeaways from the rush for campaign cash Paul calls for end of gun-free zones The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.) wrote an op-ed in The Washington Times Friday that said Clinton should “never hold high office again.”
Both are considered possible 2016 presidential candidates.
Inhofe is not the first Republican to suggest Obama could be impeached over Benghazi. Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said this week that Obama “will not fill out his full term” over Benghazi.