McCarthy floats impeachment inquiry on Joe Biden: The House Speaker has indicated in the past that he is not on board with pursuing the impeachment of President Joe Biden. That may be changing.
Joe Biden Facing Impeachment?
Since the start of President Biden’s time in office, Republicans on the party’s right flank have been pursuing the impeachment of the president.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced a resolution to impeach Biden on his first day in office, and has tried multiple times since, and Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)’s mutual enmity over their rival impeachment pushes was said to be a main reason for their high-profile fight on the floor of the House in June.
But throughout, none of the impeachment resolutions have gone anywhere, mostly because there has appeared to be little appetite from the House Republican leadership for such a pursuit. Such a push, with a small House majority and the Democrats controlling the Senate, would almost certainly not lead to Biden’s removal from office.
As recently as June, McCarthy reportedly discouraged his conference from pursuing impeachment measures.
“I just think running something on the floor isn’t fair to the American public without making the case and making the argument,” McCarthy said following Boebert’s “privileged motion” to impeach the president.
“We won’t use impeachment for political purposes. We will follow our investigations exactly as we say we would. We’re uncovering something new every day.”
But now, there are indications that is changing.
Per Axios, Speaker McCarthy said on Fox News this week that the House Oversight Committee investigation into Biden’s family’s overseas business dealings is “rising to level of impeachment inquiry.”
Such a inquiry, McCarthy said on television, would grant Republicans “the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed.”
This follows testimony last week from IRS whistleblowers, who claim that the Biden Administration “slow-walked’ the investigation into the president’s son Hunter Biden, and that they did not bring charges recommended by IRS investigators. Hunter Biden agreed last month to plead guilty to tax charges, in a deal that will likely not include any jail time.
However, the House investigation has not come anywhere close to establishing that, if a conspiracy took place to suppress potential charges against Hunter Biden, that the president had anything to do with it. The Justice Department, including the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss, has pushed back strongly against the charges.
“The House isn’t ready to vote on Biden’s impeachment yet — a move many swing-district moderates wouldn’t go for. But McCarthy faces significant pressure from his right flank to go full bore,” the Axios story said.
While McCarthy implied that such an impeachment inquiry would involve the Hunter Biden investigation, most of the impeachment resolutions introduced by Greene and others have focused on the president’s handling of the border.
The comments from the speaker come as McCarthy is under continuing pressure from his right flank. He has also recently angered former President Donald Trump, by refusing to endorse Trump in the Republican presidential race, and by a comment in an interview that Trump might not be the strongest candidate.
Politico reported last week that, as a result of that, McCarthy has promised to hold a vote on the “expungement” of Trump’s two impeachments, at some point before the August recess. The McCarthy-allied Greene and Rep. Elise Stefanik, also a member of the House GOP leadership, introduced separate bills in June to expunge the Trump impeachments.
However, constitutional scholars say that such a vote would hold no legal force, because there is no process in the Constitution for expunging past impeachments. Also, McCarthy may not have the votes in the chamber to pass such a resolution. Some members of the House, per Politico, “are loath to revisit Trump’s impeachments.”
“I’m for Trump,” one senior GOP member told Politico anonymously. “The problem is: If you have an expungement, and it goes to the floor and fails — which it probably will — then the media will treat it like it’s a third impeachment, and it will show disunity among Republican ranks. It’s a huge strategic risk.”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.