Issa: Republicans should ‘back off’ Clinton impeachment talk

Embattled Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Republicans floating a potential impeachment of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Claiming 'spousal privilege' to stonewall Congress MORE if she’s elected president should “back off.”

Some top Republicans have floated the idea of possibly impeaching a President Clinton in recent days, including House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and vulnerable Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator seeking information on FBI dealings with Bruce Ohr, former DOJ lawyer Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Senate Homeland chair vents Mueller probe is preventing panel from receiving oversight answers MORE (R-Wis.).

Issa, the former House Oversight Committee chairman, dismissed such talk as hyperbole. 

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"OK, I'm gonna say, be the adult in the room and say, 'Calm down, back off, it's not gonna happen,' " Issa said Wednesday on the "Brett Winterble Show" on 760 KFMB San Diego radio, in a clip posted Thursday by CNN’s KFile

"The fact is we have impeached and removed from office nine federal judges in our history, no members of the executive branch, not a president, not a vice president, not a cabinet officer, so floating that word is usually a fairly reckless thing,” he said.

Issa rose to national prominence while serving as the Obama administration’s chief antagonist. Critics accused him of embracing overly aggressive tactics while he led the Oversight panel from 2011 to 2015.

Two committee investigations during Issa's tenure led to House floor votes to hold Obama administration officials in contempt of Congress: Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderTrump rebukes Holder, Clinton with 'jobs not mobs' refrain Eric Trump calls out Holder on kicking comments: 'Who says this?' Two Minnesota Republicans report attacks MORE and former IRS official Lois Lerner.

This year, Issa is in the toughest reelection of his 15-year congressional career in large part because of his support for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE.

The GOP presidential nominee is not expected to perform well in Issa’s affluent and increasingly diverse San Diego-area district.

Issa said in the interview that forcing leaders out of office “happens in third-world countries” and should only be a last resort.

"But the idea that there's some sort of a quick fix and you throw somebody out of office, it happens in third-world countries," Issa said. "It mostly doesn't happen in the U.S. You know, that's not to say that it can't be a tool that's available.

"But I would ask everyone to calm down and go back to the basics, which is we have an opportunity at the ballot box to determine whether Hillary Clinton has disqualified herself with her actions. Do that first."