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ROUNDUP: MAGA Republicans Are Pushing An Unpopular Bogus Impeachment Inquiry

Sep 5, 2023

After eight months of fruitless investigations, House Republicans have failed to turn up a single shred of evidence proving President Biden committed any wrongdoing whatsoever. Yet House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is threatening to move forward with a bogus, evidence-free impeachment inquiry as soon as this month. As MAGA Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene threaten to hold the federal budget hostage in exchange for an impeachment inquiry, they risk holding working families’ livelihoods, Social Security checks, Medicare payments, and veterans’ benefits hostage and risk putting their most vulnerable swing district Republicans in a political vise. This bogus impeachment stunt is a naked political game that hurts the American people to tarnish President Biden and help Donald Trump ahead of the 2024 election.

As MAGA House Republicans prepare to return for their fall work period, Americans and anonymous Republicans warn that they are pushing an unpopular, bogus impeachment inquiry:

Politico: Why Hunter Biden Might Not Be The Slam Dunk Issue GOP Commentators Hoped. The omission was not a one-off, but a reflection of a broader calculation in the campaign that the average American would rather hear them talk about something else and that the red-meat Hunter Biden drama may not be as salient a political issue for the party as some leaders have projected. An adviser to one Republican presidential campaign said this week that candidates purposely aren’t spending much time talking about impeaching Biden — or the Hunter Biden connection to that inquiry — because, as of now, the plan is not even a sure thing with the Republican-controlled House. ‘It doesn’t have the votes,’ said the adviser, granted anonymity to discuss internal strategy. […] ‘There’s always that Republican core base, 30 percent of the primary electorate that’s always going to gobble up all of this stuff, all of the time,’ [a veteran political strategist in Arizona] said. ‘But that’s it. There’s nobody else they’re going to persuade with this argument.’” [Politico, 9/5/23]

The Washington Post: Is America Ready For Another Impeachment? McCarthy Thinks Maybe So. “McCarthy, who needed 15 ballots to claim the speakership, is caught between the demands of a restive Republican base looking for payback for the fact that former president Donald Trump has been indicted on 91 counts in four jurisdictions, including over efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and the reality that the public is nowhere near a judgment that such an inquiry into the sitting president is justified. If McCarthy is serious about labeling any further investigation with the word ‘impeachment,’ it would carry considerable risk for the Republican Party. […] Some of McCarthy’s colleagues have expressed doubts or outright opposition to moving forward with an impeachment inquiry. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) described such talk as ‘theater’ and a ‘shiny object.’ McCarthy has been warned by allies, including some who believe there is enough on the public record to escalate the investigation to another level, to go slowly in the hope of turning up enough credible evidence to cause a shift in public opinion. If McCarthy lurches ahead to satisfy his base and then fails to deliver the goods against the president, the backlash could be costly to him and his party.” [The Washington Post, 9/5/23]

The Hill: McCarthy Faces Political Minefield On Biden Impeachment. But McCarthy does not have the full support from his conference yet, with more moderate members such as Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) thinking that there is not enough ‘concrete evidence’ to open an inquiry. […] [T]hey have not shown that President Biden directly financially benefited from his son’s business dealings, and the White House has repeatedly denied any involvement by the president. ‘You’re going to put some members in swing districts in a difficult position if you’re going to make them vote to impeach a president when their constituents don’t want them to,’ said Green, the politics professor.” [The Hill, 9/5/23]

Politico: Why The White House Thinks Impeachment May Prove Risky For Republicans. “‘The only problem with [Republicans’] impeachment strategy is they have absolutely no grounds for impeaching the president,’ said one adviser to the White House who, like many others interviewed for this piece, was granted anonymity to speak freely about discussions.” [Politico, 9/4/23]

New York Daily News Editorial Board: GOP Impeachment Inquiry Into Biden Is A Sham From The Start. “[House Republicans] have made the idea of a trial and removal from the nation’s highest office an electoral strategy with no concern for its corrosive long-term impact on this country’s institutions. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — a hapless leader kowtowing to his party’s most extreme fringes in exchange for a toothless speakership — says that an impeachment inquiry of President Biden is a ‘natural next step.’ A next step to what, exactly, and on what basis, seem like minor questions to the speaker and his caucus. […] To preempt what will be the argument that this is just a tit-for-tat after the Democrats impeached Trump twice, let’s state the obvious: withholding allocated foreign aid hostage until a foreign president provides you with dirt on your political opponent and then attempting to end American democracy once you lose your election — the two well-documented offenses for which Donald Trump was impeached — are not remotely equivalent to having a son do some shady business deals of which there’s no evidence you had any knowledge or involvement.” [New York Daily News, 9/3/23]

NBC News: White House Ramps Up War Room To Battle Expected GOP Impeachment Inquiry. The [impeachment] push comes as even some in the House GOP concede they don’t have proof of wrongdoing by the president. […] ‘Eight months of partisan investigations have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden,’ Executive Director Kyle Herrig said. ‘If the House GOP wants to follow their MAGA right’s demands to pursue these bogus political stunts, CIP will be prepared with a unified opposition backed up by facts, mountains of evidence and a public exhausted with their grandstanding.’” [NBC News, 9/1/23]

Truthout: Marjorie Taylor Greene Vows to Oppose Fed Funding Bill Unless Biden Is Impeached. “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) announced at a town hall Thursday night that she won’t vote for any federal spending packages unless several of her demands are met — chief among them, an impeachment of President Joe Biden and an end to investigations into former President Donald Trump. […] Polling demonstrates that Americans would view an impeachment effort against Biden with skepticism. According to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted August 23-24, 56 percent of Americans believe that an impeachment inquiry into Biden would be ‘a political stunt,’ while only 38 percent believe that it would be ‘a serious effort to investigate important problems.’ The poll also found that 61 percent of Americans don’t want Biden to be impeached without evidence that he received bribes or enacted government policies due to his son’s business dealings. ‘MAGA Republicans’ impeachment promises are nothing more than a partisan political stunt designed to hurt President Biden, and the American people know it,’ Leslie Dach, a senior adviser with the Congressional Integrity Project, which commissioned the poll, said in a statement.” [Truthout, 9/1/23]