Thursday, September 14, 2023


Are House Republicans really trying to impeach President Biden, or do they just want him under a cloud of suspicion? The New York Times reports:
If [the impeachment inquiry] feels more like a political campaign than a serious legal proceeding, that is because at this point it is.... In the first 24 hours of their inquiry, the House Republicans made no new requests for documents, issued no new subpoenas, demanded no new testimony and laid out no potential articles of impeachment.
I'm sure Marjorie Taylor Greene sincerely wants Biden removed from office, but for her, the journey seems to be more important than the destination:
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, who was among those who pushed Mr. McCarthy into opening an inquiry at Mr. Trump’s behest, made clear that the goal was to damage the incumbent president. By her own account, she said she told Mr. Trump during a dinner on Sunday at his private club in Bedminster, N.J., that she hoped to make an impeachment inquiry “long and excruciatingly painful for Joe Biden.”
CNN reports that Jim Jordan is working on subpoenas, but he doesn't seem anxious to get to an impeachment vote:
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who told reporters he signed three new subpoenas on Wednesday, said the launch of the inquiry does not change how he is approaching his investigation. He doesn’t have a specific timeline of how long an inquiry will last, and his plan is simply to “keep going.”
Other Republicans agree:
“What we’re going to do is do it the right way,” GOP Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida told CNN. “We want to make sure that we have every single piece of evidence.”

Asked whether their inquiry should be wrapped up before the end of the year, GOP Rep. Brian Mast, also of Florida, told CNN: “Can it be yes? Should there be an artificial timeline placed on wrapping this up by the end of the year? Absolutely not.”
It does seem as if actually impeaching Biden would be bad for Republicans:
The conundrum now for Republicans is that if they don’t convince their colleagues to pursue articles of impeachment and come up short in proving high crimes and misdemeanors, they will essentially be absolving the president leading into an election year. And even if they do succeed in impeaching Biden, making him the fourth US president to ever be impeached, it would be dead on arrival in the Senate – and could seek to have the adverse effect of rallying Democrats around a president who has faced sagging approval ratings.
There are hotheads who want an impeachment right now. (Matt Gaetz: “I think Joe Biden deserves impeachment. No question about that. We may be forcing some votes on it in the coming days and weeks.”) But if House Republicans arrive at a consensus -- which they might not -- it'll be to drag this out as long as possible. It won't surprise me if they never wrap up the inquiry and never vote to impeach. They just want Biden to be under a cloud from now until November 2024, with the option of an actual impeachment (and pending Senate trial) if he's reelected, just to take him down a peg right after that victory.

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