Aug 21, 2013 6:26 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - Congressman Blake Farenthold is fighting critics over comments he made about how successful Congress would be if they tried to impeach President Obama.
The controversy comes from a YouTube video of Farenthold at an open house discussion a couple of weeks ago.
In the video, the congressman addresses his constituents' concerns about the president and answers a question he says he hears all the time: Why don't lawmakers impeach the president if they're so unhappy with him?
He answered, "If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it. But it would go the Senate and he wouldn't be convicted."
Impeachment is an intense process. It requires a majority vote in the House, and even then, the Senate would have to convict the president after a trial to remove him from office.
Farenthold went on to say the process could do more harm than good, citing President Clinton's impeachment over a decade ago.
"That failed impeachment attempt has actually damaged the country," Farenthold says.
Only one other president, Andrew Johnson, has been impeached, and he, like Clinton, was not convicted by the Senate.
Richard Nixon resigned before the House likely would have impeached him.
Political Analyst Dr. Bob Bezdek, a political science teacher at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, says Farenthold was likely just trying to satisfy one faction of the Republican Party.
"I think they're concerned about being tea-partied, which means that somebody moves to the right of them and then knocks them out in the Republican primary," Bezdek says.
And while the congressman says he doesn't advocate impeachment, one of his later comments again focuses on the likely outcome and not on whether or not it should be done.
"What message do we send to America if we impeach Obama, and he gets away with what he's impeached for, and he's found innocent?" Farenthold says.
We called Farenthold's office. They say he was simply responding to a hypothetical question about how successful an impeachment attempt would be.