Impeachment can never be completely removed from politics. That’s what the founders wanted.
But in the case of Kevin McCarthy directing House committees to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, the speaker is trying to save his own job — and prevent a government shutdown.
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Let’s face it: Even if McCarthy can convince the entire House to vote for impeachment – a questionable outcome – Biden would be acquitted by the Democratic-controlled Senate. The same was true for both Trump impeachment trials when Republicans controlled the Senate.
The move against Biden, which could well be seen as revenge for Nancy Pelosi’s House impeachment of Trump, could spark a backlash against Republicans. This was certainly the case when they impeached Bill Clinton, who of course was not convicted by the Democratic Senate. And Trump’s impeachment proceedings have certainly deepened the belief among MAGA supporters that a corrupt establishment was out to get him.
An important fact here: On September 1, McCarthy told Breitbart that if there were an impeachment inquiry, “it would be by a vote on the floor of the House of People, not by one person’s statement.” He had also criticized Pelosi for that she initiated impeachment proceedings without a vote in the House of Representatives (so that’s nothing new).
What has changed? McCarthy doesn’t have the votes because many of his more moderate lawmakers either believe there isn’t enough evidence to warrant an investigation or fear voters don’t understand why they don’t spend most of their time on kitchen table issues .
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In announcing a “formal” investigation, the spokesman said: “House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations about President Biden’s conduct. Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”
So far, however, the GOP has largely uncovered unethical behavior by Hunter Biden, who is being criminally investigated by a special counsel. McCarthy accused the government of giving the president’s son “special treatment.”
The reason for this is a revolt by the most conservative members of McCarthy’s caucus. They want deeper spending cuts than in the agreement that averted national bankruptcy. However, Senate Democrats are unlikely to join in, leaving the prospect of a federal shutdown on September 30.
Of course, they’ll probably find a quick compromise at the last minute.
And that’s why McCarthy’s job is potentially in jeopardy. When he took the gavel in January after 15 grueling rounds of voting, a key concession was that any Republican — for any reason — could petition to remove him from the speakership. Rep. Matt Gaetz is a leading proponent of the effort, and McCarthy only has a five-seat majority.
Now it’s entirely possible that McCarthy will push back on this move, ousting him after more intense voting and keeping the job.
Who wants to have this thankless job at the same time? And how could someone replacing Kevin better resolve this impasse?
Now to the question of prosecuting Biden. Despite claims from some Republicans, there is no solid evidence that he received bribes in connection with Hunter’s foreign activities in countries such as Ukraine and China. “House Republicans have been investigating the president for nine months and have found no evidence of wrongdoing,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement.
At the same time, Joe Biden’s insistence that he had nothing to do with his son’s business was undermined by his repeated participation in conference calls or luncheons as vice president of Hunter’s corporate partners.
This all represents a huge mess for everyone involved.
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It’s classic Beltway melodrama – endless harsh rhetoric and backstage actions that may not change much.