False rumors claim Obama impeachment trial begins in March - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

False internet rumors claim Obama impeachment trial to begin in March

President Obama has faced threats of impeachment from several members of Congress while in office. (Source: Whitehouse.gov/Pete Souza) President Obama has faced threats of impeachment from several members of Congress while in office. (Source: Whitehouse.gov/Pete Souza)

(RNN) – Facebook, Twitter and other social media have been abuzz with claims that President Barack Obama will face impeachment trials next month. None of the claims are true.

The rumors seem to spring from a rash of impeachment threats by members of Congress because of U.S. military involvement in Gadhafi's Libya, the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal and Second Amendment controversies after Sandy Hook.

Libya controversy

Impeachment rumors have dogged Obama's presidency - for reasons ranging from voter fraud to allegations that he was not born in the United States.

But it wasn't until 2011 that the criticism took any kind of official form.

In June 2011, the House of Representatives approved a resolution criticizing Obama for not seeking approval from Congress for the Libya campaign against Moammar Gadhafi. under the 1973 War Powers Resolution.

The criticism claimed Obama acted in violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution, but the administration countered, saying the actions didn't fall under the jurisdiction of the 1973 act.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers headed by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) unsuccessfully sued Obama for the Libya involvement, claiming military action without congressional approval is illegal.

"The president is not a king. He was elected by the people, just like the House and Senate - we were elected by the people," Jones told ABC News.

Dennis Kucinich, one of the most liberal members of Congress, was one of two Democrats who joined the suit.

"With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated," Kucinich said. "We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies."

In October, 2011, a federal judge dismissed the case.

Jones pressed on and on March 7, 2012, he issued another resolution stating that a president's use of military force without Congressional approval, "except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States," would be an impeachable offense.

Many news websites interpreted this action to mean that an impeachment process had begun. But Jones' resolution died in committee, according to govtrack.us.

The Second Amendment

Another source of impeachment rumors involves allegations that Obama is infringing on gunowners' rights outlined in the Second Amendment.

In January 2013, when Obama announced he would sign executive actions in favor of more gun control, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) alluded to impeachment in a Jan. 15 statement.

"I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House and even filing articles of impeachment," he said.

Joining Stockman, Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) also said impeachment should be an option, according to an interview with Florida politics blog, The Shark Tank.

The president ended up signing 23 executive actions on Jan. 16 that he believed would reduce gun violence.

Stockman and Radel have given no official indication that they will attempt to begin impeachment hearings.

Fast and Furious scandal

While some news sites speculated that the Fast and Furious scandal offered grounds for presidential impeachment, it was Attorney General Eric Holder who was the focus of the serious impeachment threats, not Obama.

Those rumors stopped in September, 2012 when an investigation concluded that Holder did not know of the plan to track guns sold in the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.

Despite the lack of credibility to the rumors of impeachment hearing beginning in March, there is still effort to move forward with it.

Obama has taken criticism from the left and right for overreach and commentators have argued that grounds for impeachment exist, including the presidents' controversial drone program and the indefinite detention section of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Dave Lindorff, the author of a 2006 book that argued for the impeachment of President George W. Bush, argued that the legal memo justifying the Obama administration's execution of Americans on foreign soil is grounds for an impeachment hearing.

"There is no way around it," Lindorff wrote. "This president is a grave violator of the law and of the U.S. Constitution. Like George W. Bush before him, it is incumbent upon the Congress to establish whether his transgressions rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

As of now, no viable threat of presidential impeachment exists.

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