A top confidant to President Barack Obama told reporters on Friday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has “opened the door” to impeaching the president by moving to sue him.
“I think Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to impeachment sometime in the future,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said at a Washington breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Pfeiffer said the lawsuit won’t deter Obama’s efforts to act via executive authority where Congress won’t. He predicted that the president’s upcoming executive actions on immigration (which are expected to involve slowing deportations) will “certainly up the likelihood that they’ll contemplate impeachment.”
Boehner has repeatedly insisted he isn’t planning to impeach the president, recently saying he disagrees with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s call for impeachment. House conservatives have also expressed wariness of initiating impeachment proceedings, at least for now, worried that it would damage the GOP politically in the 2014 congressional elections.
Meanwhile, the House is expected to vote next week to authorize Boehner’s lawsuit alleging Obama failed to faithfully implement Obamacare. And the White House is bracing for them to eventually consider impeachment.
“I think it’s foolish to discount the possibility that Republicans will consider going down that path [of impeachment],” Pfeiffer said.
Update 11:22 A.M. ET: Boehner spokesman Michael Steel accused Pfeiffer of engaging in a fundraising exercise on behalf of Democrats.
“We have a humanitarian crisis at our border, and the White House is making matters worse with inattention and mixed signals. 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 said.
(Photo credit: Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)