How the Tea Party Started Impeachment Talk and Democrats Co-Opted It

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July 24: First lady Michelle Obama reportedly predicts “more” talk about impeachment if the Democrats lose the 2014 midterms. "If we lose these midterm elections, it's going to be a whole lot harder to finish what we started, because we'll just see more of the same out in Washington -- more obstructions, more lawsuits, and talk about impeachment," Obama said, according to the Washington Examiner.

July 25: Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer tells reporters he “would not discount” the “possibility” of impeachment, noting that Boehner’s lawsuit against the president “has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future.”

July 25: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterates Pfeiffer’s point, saying “there are some Republicans, including Republicans who are running for office, hoping that they can get into office so that they can impeach the president,” and rejects the notion that impeachment is a democratic fundraising ploy.

July 27: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D- Calif., unprompted, raises the issue in an interview on CNN.

“The Republicans are … on a path to impeach the president while we're trying to create jobs and have stability in our country and in the world. And I'm sorry that we didn't get a chance to talk more about that,” she says.

July 27: The DCCC circulates an email claiming that “House Republicans held a closed-door meeting to discuss impeaching President Obama,” and urging Dem supporters to “throw everything we’ve got at this.”

July 29: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also blasts impeachment chatter. “Isn’t it good that we’re talking about this, rather than impeachment of the president?” Reid says in reference to the VA deal.

July 29: Boehner calls talk of impeachment “a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”

“This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president's own staff. And coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill,” the speaker said. “Why? Because they're trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year's elections. We have no plans to impeach the president.”

July 29: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoes Boehner, saying, "the only people I've heard mention [impeachment] are the White House and the majority leader.”

Reality check: Despite all the gossip, history is on Obama’s side. Only two U.S. presidents – Andrew Johnson, in 1868, and Bill Clinton, in 1998 – have been impeached. (Richard Nixon voluntarily resigned before the House could impeach him.) And not once has presidential impeachment resulted in removal from office.

ABC News' Arlette Saenz and John Parkinson contributed to this report.

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