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Republicans floating impeachment risk making unpopular Biden a ‘martyr,’ critics warn


As some Republican lawmakers speak cautiously about the prospect of the House launching an impeachment inquiry against President Biden, while bribery and influence peddling allegations mount, other critics warned such a probe could help the struggling president win reelection.

In a Tuesday interview with “Hannity,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., predicted that evidence of foreign money flowing to Biden family members “through shell companies” will lead to serious consideration of an impeachment inquiry in the chamber.

McCarthy said he was making such an assertion based only on the direction the information and evidence House Republicans gleaned through their investigations has taken the storyline.

“[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 Tuesday, while comparing Biden’s behavior at times to that of former President Richard Nixon.


Biden sits in corvette in ad about American made cars

Joe Biden smiles from the front seat of his Corvette Stingray in a 2020 campaign video push to revitalize the American auto industry.  (Joe Biden 2020)

Since then, somewhat of an impeachment fervor has been mounting, as Democrats stand essentially universally opposed while Republicans appear to have differing views on the prospect.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., a fierce Biden administration critic, said Wednesday it is however irresponsible for Republicans to be “raising the I-word” because it “sends a message to the public and sets expectations. Buck said the House committees’ probes are fair and that such investigation is indeed the chamber’s responsibility.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., separately added that no official should be impeached unless the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” has been definitively reached.

“I’m not going to support impeaching somebody just because I don’t like their politics,” he said.


Media critic Joe Concha appeared to echo such warnings in an interview Friday with Fox News, saying impeachment talk at this juncture risks the prospect of gaining Biden sympathy and potentially sympathy-votes in his reelection bid.

“While it appears their case is getting stronger and stronger through credible whistleblower testimony… and some obvious questions to ask during an impeachment inquiry, such as how does Joe Biden afford multimillion dollar homes in Wilmington, Delaware, and on the beach in Rehoboth, the latter of which she purchased for nearly $3 million shortly after leaving the vice presidency — Because it didn’t come from a vice president or senator salary,” Concha said on “The Story.”

“But we already know, and this is a challenge for Republicans if they decide to go down the road of impeachment, the media will largely dismiss a Biden impeachment. They will call weaponization of the gavel as a witch hunt to hurt him as a candidate in 2024 to distract from Donald Trump.”

Concha said an impeachment proceeding will similarly need 17 Democratic senators to join Republicans to vote to convict and remove Biden from office. He noted Trump’s pro-impeachment critics faced a similar conundrum with a narrowly divided Senate.

Former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer also told Fox News that Republicans should be wary of moving in an impeachment direction too quickly, comparing the Democrats’ crusade against Trump to be turning the procedure into a United Kingdom-style “no-confidence” vote – as former Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced last year.


Clinton impeachment scandal

In this Dec. 19, 1998 file photo, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton watches President Clinton pause as he thanks those Democratic members of the House of Representatives who voted against impeachment at the White House in Washington.  ((AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File))

“The only thing I have heard that could touch Joe Biden so far is the allegation that the FBI has a confidential informant saying he, as vice president, took a $5 million bribe. If that becomes solid 100% unimpeachable proof, then that is something,” he said. “But otherwise, this will backfire on Republicans.”

Seven Republican senators voted to impeach Trump in 2021, with the only one facing reelection since – Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – politically surviving her vote against a president of her own party.

“In the end, you’re going to have another situation like we had with Trump impeachment, but not removal,” Concha added.

“And then perhaps that makes Joe Biden into a martyr and actually helps his campaign on some level.”

At the time of President Clinton’s 1998-99 impeachment proceedings, some observers said the Arkansas Democrat similarly benefited from such a dynamic, as the House voted to impeach, but the Senate did not convict-and-remove.


With the then-45 Senate Democrats remaining united in Clinton’s defense, ten Republicans on the perjury count and five Republicans on the obstruction count joined them in helping him weather the Whitewater and Lewinsky scandal-related affair.

In June, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., introduced resolutions to expunge Trump’s two impeachments, while Greene has recently floated potentially impeaching Biden.

The Georgia lawmaker previously drafted impeachment articles in 2021 alleging Biden “enabl[ed] bribery and other high crimes & misdemeanors.”

Following Biden’s heavily-criticized Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021, Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas drafted articles of impeachment in response. Reps. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Robert Gibbs, R-Ohio, drafted similar articles shortly thereafter.

A December 2022 resolution from now-former Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, resolved that Biden should be impeached for “treason.”


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