Are Republicans serious about impeachment?: Republicans in the House are talking more and more about an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. But a quote from one member of the House indicates that they’re not serious about actually wanting Joe Biden removed.
The Joe Biden Impeachment Scam?
While several impeachment resolutions have been introduced in Congress since the Republicans took over the House, none have moved forward, and the House Republican leadership has not chosen to take them up.
Earlier this summer, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy indicated that he may be changing his mind about launching an impeachment inquiry. However, McCarthy’s change of heart has come with some caveats, per a CNN report in early August– including the Speaker making clear to his caucus that “opening an inquiry is not the same as voting for articles of impeachment.”
Per a Semafor story late last week, Republicans are warming to the idea of an impeachment inquiry for a simple reason: Their base is demanding it. However, per the piece, there do not appear to be 218 votes in the House to impeach Biden currently.
In addition, it’s not precisely clear what Joe Biden would be impeached for. Most of the resolutions so far have focused on his handling of the border, while Congressmen quoted in the Semafor story referenced the allegations that the president was bribed by a Ukrainian businessman– which remain very thin and unproven. It seems a lot of it is driven by a desire for revenge for Donald Trump’s two impeachments.
“A lot of voters feel like, well they impeached Trump twice, and we should impeach Biden. And again, that’s irresponsibility on the Democrats’ side,” Semafor quoted Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the House Oversight Committee chairman, in a July interview with Raw Story.
Now, one member of the House Freedom Caucus has made an admission about the process.
According to the Semafor story. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was candid on a recent Twitter Space about the purpose of the effort.
“Let me break it to all of you: There’s no conviction and removal of Joe Biden coming on impeachment,” Gaetz said on the Twitter space. “I know that. You know that. Anyone with rational thought knows that given Chuck Schumer’s control of the Senate. And frankly, the way that Senate Republicans view Joe Biden and seem to work with him for their own selfish objectives.”
“The purpose of that impeachment, from my standpoint, is not to force a vote that loses,” Gaetz had said. “It’s to put on a trial in the Senate… it will not result in a conviction, but the true verdict can still be rendered by the American people.”
That implies that the impeachment push is not about wanting to punish President Joe Biden for specific high crimes and misdemeanors or other transgressions, but rather to score political points.
MSNBC’s MaddowBlog was critical of Gaetz for this admission.
“The half-dozen impeachment resolutions have quite a bit in common. They were all introduced by far-right House members. They all lack any meaningful evidence against the Democrat. And they’re all destined to eventually fail since there’s no way 67 senators will convict the president and remove Biden from office in response to a scandal that doesn’t exist,” blogger Steve Benen wrote.
“So as Gaetz sees it, whether the impeachment process works as designed is irrelevant. Rather, what GOP members of Congress should do, according to the Florida Republican, is use the process to sully Biden ahead of his re-election bid. The ‘trial’ would effectively be an attack ad.”
One could possibly compare that to Donald Trump’s first impeachment, for the phone call to Ukraine’s president. Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi, prior to that moment, had resisted impeaching Trump but eventually relented. And they did so with the knowledge that Trump stood little-to-no chance of conviction in the then-Republican-controlled Senate.
Trump’s second impeachment, after January 6 in 2021, was a bit different, as it received more Republican support than the first one had, and it looked at one point like a possibility that the effort would get enough votes to convict Trump in the Senate and disqualify from office, although the effort did fall short.
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. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
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