Republicans have threatened to impeach President Joe Biden so many times that it’s become natural to tune out every new attempt. The calls started before his presidency even began, when right-wingers put credence behind the false narrative that Biden had “stolen” the 2020 election. Since then, Republicans have called for a Biden impeachment over—among other things—immigration policies; military decisions; COVID-related restrictions and measures; classified documents; and accusations of abusing the FBI and other agencies for Biden’s own political ends. More than a dozen impeachment resolutions have been introduced in the House. (Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has sponsored a good number of them.) All have been referred to a committee without any expectation of further action.
But this time is different. On Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that he was directing House committees to investigate Joe Biden as part of a formal impeachment inquiry.
“House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct,” McCarthy told reporters. “Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.” He has directed the Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees to look for evidence of corruption.
So why move toward impeachment now? There’s an obvious political motivation: McCarthy is attempting to fend off an attack from the right-flank of his party. The Freedom Caucus wants to shut down the government, and McCarthy is hoping he can tempt them to keep the government running with an impeachment inquiry. Also, the GOP more generally is trying to damage Biden’s reputation ahead of the 2024 election.
There is no evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor; instead, Republicans are desperately hoping that an impeachment inquiry will turn something up. In 2019, when Nancy Pelosi announced she was launching an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, McCarthy slammed her for doing so unilaterally and not holding a vote. He said as recently as Sept. 1 that he would launch an impeachment inquiry himself through a vote. Now he’s not doing that, presumably because he doesn’t have the votes.
To be abundantly clear: There’s no evidence of corrupt behavior by Joe Biden. But for Republicans, the mere opportunity to put Biden in the same breath with lawbreaking is grounds to move forward. And that mere possibility exists because of the shady behavior of the president’s son, Hunter Biden. [Continue reading…]