Republicans now openly are talking about impeaching Joe Biden due to his alleged involvement in corrupt business deals involving his son, Hunter. However, impeaching him for things he did before he was president is a constitutionally murky question, former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz told Fox News Digital.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Fox News host Sean Hannity last week that revelations that Joe Biden had allegedly received $5 million from Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky to pressure the Ukrainian government to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin could be impeachable.
“[T]his is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed,” McCarthy said. “Because this president has also used something that we have not seen since Richard Nixon, used the weaponization of government to benefit his family and to deny Congress the ability to have oversight.”
Dershowitz says “The answer is clear … No one knows.”
Other defenders of impeaching Biden note the Constitution says nothing about the timing in which an infraction can be alleged to have occurred.
Article II, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution states: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Hans A. von Spakovsky told Fox News Digital. “The crucial impeachment language in the Constitution is not limited to ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ committed while ‘in office,’ … That language is not there.”
Impeachment is Purely Political
Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy called the impeachment power political in nature and suggested it was up to Congress to decide how to use it.
“The Constitution specifically assigns to Congress the determination of whether impeachable offenses were found, and, under separation of powers, the court stays out of it,” McCarthy continued. “Politically speaking, it is whatever Congress says it is.”
He noted that the framers of the Constitution were animated by concern the president could be controlled by a foreign power, which some are already suggesting is the case with Biden.
“The founders were concerned if a foreign power had corrupted the president,” McCarthy said. “It just seems to me that the possibility that a president could be purchased, or a person who occupies the office of the presidency could be purchased, by a corrupt foreign government is not limited to his time in power.”
McCarthy added, “If I bribe you with $10 million three years before you’re president, I still own you when you’re president.”
White House Reminds Republicans They’re Not United On Impeachment
The White House is ridiculing the idea of impeachment saying it is “a ridiculous, baseless stunt, intended to attack the President at a time when House Republicans should instead be joining the President to focus on the important issues facing the American people.”
“But just as soon as McCarthy floated this stunt, he was met with resistance — from members of his own party and even his own caucus,” the statement continued.
Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck agreed with the White House and accused McCarthy of distracting attention from more important issues like appropriations bills.
“What he is saying is that there is a shiny object over here and we are really going to focus on that. We just need to get all of these things done so we can focus on the shiny object,” Buck told CNN’s Dana Bash. “I don’t think it is responsible to talk about impeachment. When you start talking about impeachment as the ‘I word’ it sends a message to the public and it sets expectations. I do think what is going on with the Oversight Committee and with the Judiciary Committee is absolutely fair and what we should be doing.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.