Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day. In 30-60 seconds, you’ll be first to see TPM’s best stories of the morning and caught up on what to expect for the day ahead.
Republicans on this year's August recess continue to flirt with the idea of impeaching President Barack Obama, if only to appease constituents angry over what they consider an administration that has repeatedly forsaken the U.S. constitution.
During a Wednesday town hall in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told a member in the audience that while he didn't "have the legal background" to know whether Obama carried out any high crimes and misdemeanors, the president certainly was getting "perilously close."
"I think there’s some intended violation of the law in this administration, but I also think there’s a ton of incompetence of people who are making decisions," Coburn said in a video flagged by BuzzFeed on Thursday.
“Even if there is incompetence, the IRS forces me to abide by the law,” a constituent responded.
“No, I agree,” Coburn said. “My little wiggle out of that when I get that written to me is I believe that needs to be evaluated and determined but thank goodness it doesn’t have to happen in the Senate until they’ve brought charges in the House. Those are serious things but we’re in a serious time. I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanor but I think they’re getting perilously close.”
Coburn made the TIME 100 in April, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and a fellow nominee and friend, President Barack Obama, took the opportunity to describe their unlikely friendship in the Senate.
"[After] we entered the Senate at the same time, our wives, Michelle and Carolyn, hit it off at an orientation dinner," Obama wrote. "Pretty soon, we did too. Since then, we’ve bonded over family and faith. And we’ve harnessed our friendship and mutual respect to find places where we can agree and work together to move this country forward."