House Republicans Desperately Searching to Find a Reason to Impeach Joe Biden

Republicans have been itching to avenge Donald Trump since they took over the House earlier this year—and now, as the former president sinks deeper into a legal morass, they are getting increasingly aggressive about protecting their leader and attacking Joe Biden. On Thursday, number three House Republican Elise Stefanik and right-wing star Marjorie Taylor Greene put forth legislation that would expunge Trump’s two impeachments, which the pair said represented a “sham smear” against the ex-president and his supporters. “The American people know Democrats weaponized the power of impeachment against President Donald Trump to advance their own extreme political agenda,” Stefanik said in a statement.

Democrats didn’t do that, of course—and in fact, it’s House Republicans who appear more eager to do so: Lauren Boebert, the far-right representative from Colorado, led a renewed push to impeach Biden earlier this week, defying House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other conference leaders, who were able to de-escalate the pressure campaign—but only temporarily—when they got the hardliners to agree to send their articles to committee instead of forcing a floor vote. “Last Congress, I watched my impeachment articles collect dust in [former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s] office,” Boebert blustered Thursday. “This Congress, action had to be taken!”

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The articles of impeachment against Biden are a nominal response to what they say is his “complete failure” to secure the southern border—even though the surge of crossings Republicans had predicted following the termination of Title 42 didn’t exactly materialize. But all that is beside the point. The idea here is simply to wield impeachment as a political weapon against Biden, in precisely the way they accuse Democrats of using it against Trump—who is now facing dozens of state and federal charges, as well as ongoing investigations. “Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves,” Representative Jim McGovern, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, said of the push to impeach Biden. “But they are doing this all so they can distract from the fact that Donald Trump stole top secret information and stored it in his bathroom.”

For now, McCarthy seems to have talked Boebert and her allies down: “We’re already having investigations,” he said Thursday. But by once again appeasing the furthest right flank of his party, he has all but ensured the extremists will mount another crusade.

There’s no chance the Democratically-controlled Senate would convict Biden, should the articles pass the House. But it’s possible the expungement legislation proposed by Stefanik and Greene— the latter of whom called Boebert a “little bitch” for having “copied” her own Biden impeachment proposal—could gain traction. Greene holds more sway with McCarthy than others in the most extreme sect of the party, and Stefanik chairs the House Republican Conference. As Axios notes, that could put pressure on even more moderate members to support the measures.

Expunging Trump’s impeachments wouldn’t erase the public’s memory of them, of course. But by cheapening the process of impeachment, and making Biden seem equally corrupt, Republicans are trying to cloud that memory. “There’s going to be no end to this,” said Adam Schiff, who was censured this week by Republicans for his role in investigating Trump. “Kevin McCarthy has no control over his conference,” Schiff continued. “It’s doing terrible damage to the institution.”

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