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Johnson Doubles Down On Biden Impeachment As He Establishes Priorities: ‘Very Likely’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Republicans are contemplating an official House vote next month to formalize their investigation into Joe Biden’s possible impeachment

Someone familiar with the matter, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss the private meeting, said that during a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday, GOP leaders brought up the prospect of a vote, the Associated Press reported.

“While we take no pleasure in the proceedings here, we have a responsibility to do it,” Johnson said at a press conference Wednesday with the leaders of the investigation.

Amid a stalemate with the White House over demands for Biden family information, the House Republicans may reverse their earlier position. In light of White House attorneys claiming that the investigation lacks “constitutional legitimacy” due to the absence of formal House authorization, Republican leaders are rethinking their long-held stance that a vote on the impeachment investigation is unnecessary.

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However, with their razor-thin 222-213 majority, the House Republican leadership would be taking a high-stakes gamble by calling an impeachment vote. Republicans would require almost unanimous backing from their members for the vote to be successful, given that Democrats are banding together against the attempt to impeach.

Every Republican in the House would be officially on record as supporting the impeachment investigation if it were to come to a vote. This process could lead to the ultimate penalty for a president, which is removal from office for what the Constitution calls “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Some moderate Republicans may face significant political danger if they cast this vote, particularly if they represent districts that went to Biden in 2020.

Earlier this month, Johnson said that it is “very, very likely” that Biden has committed impeachable offenses.

Then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) authorized a former impeachment inquiry into Biden in September, as several GOP-led House panels began honing in on whether the president was ever influenced by the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden, and his brother, James Biden.

Witnesses have testified before the committees that both James and Hunter were “selling” the “Biden brand” to a foreign government and business interests, leading Republicans to suggest that the president now could be compromised.

McCarthy said the president faced “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption,” warranting further investigation.

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Johnson suggested that Biden has committed impeachable offenses, but he planned to allow due process to play out.

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“The reason we shifted to the impeachment inquiry stage on the president himself was that if all the evidence leads to where we believe it will, that’s very likely impeachable offenses,” he said.

“That’s listed as a cause for impeachment in the Constitution—bribery and other crimes and misdemeanors. Bribery’s listed there, and it looks and smells a lot like that. We’re going to follow the truth wherever it leads. We’re going to engage in due process because, again, we’re the rule of law party,” Johnson added.

“I know people are getting anxious, and they’re getting restless, and they just want somebody to be impeached, but we don’t do that like the other team. We have to base it on the evidence,” Johnson said.

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In his Hannity interview, meanwhile, Johnson said that the House is getting ready to present a $14.5 billion support bill for Israel, slightly more than what Israel has reportedly asked for through the White House.

The House appropriation, on the other hand, differs significantly from other forms of federal support in that it will be provided in exchange for “pay-for” in the budget rather than through the simple printing of money.

Johnson explained that the sum is a “very specific number tied to very specific measures” and that every additional dollar would have to be made up for by a decrease in spending somewhere else.

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