WASHINGTON (AFP) - Sarah Palin called for President Barack Obama’s impeachment on Tuesday over his handling of a growing immigration crisis, becoming the most prominent right-wing US politician to make the provocative demand.
The 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee wrote on conservative website Breitbart that Mr Obama’s “unsecured border crisis is the last straw,” and that lawmakers should evict him from the White House, 30 months before his scheduled departure.
“It’s time to impeach,” Mrs Palin wrote, focusing on the president’s use of executive orders to ram through legal action opposed by many Republicans.
“President Obama’s rewarding of lawlessness, including his own, is the foundational problem here,” she added.
“It’s not going to get better, and in fact irreparable harm can be done in this lame-duck term as he continues to make up his own laws as he goes along.” Mrs Palin’s remarks follow those of several far-right Republican politicians who have also demanded Mr Obama’s exit.
They include Senator James Inhofe, who last year suggested Mr Obama could be impeached for an alleged White House cover-up after the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz also called Mr Obama’s handling of Benghazi an “impeachable offence.” Several others including congressman Blake Farenthold and former lawmaker Allen West make similar charges.
But none of these Republicans carries the weight of Mrs Palin.
While her influence has waned, she remains a national figure popular with the Tea Party movement and can rally donors and supporters to her causes.
But the move could backfire if taken up by more Republicans before November’s congressional elections, as Democrats could paint Republicans as being controlled by the extreme wing of their party.
Impeachment proceedings are costly and difficult to carry out.
President Bill Clinton, who lied about his affair with a White House intern in the late 1990s, was impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate.