With the possibility of a Republican electoral wave on Tuesday looking ever more likely, President Joe Biden last week felt compelled to acknowledge the growing potential for his own impeachment if and when control of Congress occurs, as Newsweek reports.
Speaking at a San Diego campaign event for California Rep. Mike Levin (D), Biden broached the topic of the political trouble that may lie ahead for his presidency, citing rumblings from certain members of the opposition party.
Biden broaches impeachment
“I’m already being told if [Republicans] win back the House and Senate, they’re gonna impeach me,” Biden told the assembled Levin supporters and others at the venue.
“I don’t know what the hell they’re gonna impeach me for,” added the president.
While his suggestion raised laughter from the crowd, Biden cautioned, “No, I’m not joking,” also declaring that Republicans in recent weeks attempted to tamp down speculation on the sensitive subject so as not to hinder their chances of midterm success.
“Recently, they said ‘we should stop talking about that ’til we win,’” noted the commander in chief.
Not so fast
Despite Biden’s apparent sense that impeachment could well be on the horizon, current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – the putative new House speaker, should the GOP prevail on Tuesday – has been somewhat reluctant to commit to the prospect.
“I think the country doesn’t like impeachment used for political purposes at all,” McCarthy stated last month, Newsweek noted.
Similarly, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (SC) has also indicated hesitation of her own about going after Biden, telling CNN’s State of the Union co-host Jake Tapper last week, “That is something that would have to be investigated. I’m not interested in retaliation. Impeachment has been weaponized over the years, and we’ve seen that.”
Mace also told NBC’s Chuck Todd last month, as USA Today noted, that she sees “a lot of pressure on Republicans that have that vote and put that legislation forward,” but added that to do so would be “divisive” and distract from the critical business of the American people.
Wait and see
Despite McCarthy and Mace’s unwillingness to jump into the impeachment fray just yet, others in the GOP have long declared such a process to be a distinct possibility and, indeed, a duty, including Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY) and Rep. Bob Good (VA), both outspoken critics of what the former has called Biden’s “complete, aggravated dereliction of duty on border security.”
Whether Republican lawmakers will ultimately coalesce around a plan to impeach Biden, as he seems to expect, remains to be seen, but as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has aptly pointed out, Democrats pursued former President Donald Trump for far less, and “[t]he more you weaponize [impeachment] and turn it into a partisan cudgel, you know, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”