Senate Republicans are poised to complete their cover-up in Donald Trump's impeachment trial this week. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, one of the only Republican holdouts, ultimately voted to refuse to hear from more witnesses, claiming against all historical precedent that impeachment had to be bipartisan.
Alexander's tortured rationale isn't shared by many other members of his party. In fact, at least one Republican senator is already dangling the threat of impeachment over former vice president Joe Biden, should he earn the Democratic nomination and beat Trump in the general election in November. Speaking to Bloomberg News on Sunday, Iowa senator Joni Ernst said, "I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened. Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, 'Well, we’re going to impeach him.'" She added that grounds for Biden's impeachment would be "for being assigned to take on Ukrainian corruption yet turning a blind eye to Burisma because his son was on the board making over a million dollars a year."
Although the specifics of Ernst's allegations have been repeatedly debunked, she's referring to the origin of Donald Trump's efforts to extort political favors out of Ukraine. Trump withheld nearly $400 million in military aid until Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to announce an investigation into Hunter Biden's work at an energy firm. That ultimately got Trump impeached in Congress for attempting to get a foreign power to interfere with U.S. elections, but the president and his allies have maintained that he shouldn't be impeached for that because, among other given excuses, the Bidens are guilty of corruption and nepotism. Despite those arguments, the House voted along party lines to impeach Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the first president to be impeached since Bill Clinton. In 1999, Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about an extramarital affair, and his trial in the Senate lasted nearly 40 days, more than twice as long as Trump's trial is expected to take.
Despite the outcome of the Senate trial—where 51 Republicans voted against hearing from witnesses and reviewing documents—and Ernst's warning that he could be impeached "the day after he would be elected," Biden remains convinced that he can work with Republicans in Congress. Speaking to Savannah Guthrie of Today, Biden said that the rank partisanship "hasn't shaken my faith in being able to work with at least" some Republicans, adding that he believes Republicans will become reasonable and compliant once Trump is out of office. Biden has repeated this claim several times over the course of his campaign. While he served under Barack Obama, Republicans in the House and Senate routinely refused to work with the White House, even holding a Supreme Court opening vacant for a year so that Obama couldn't appoint a new justice. Despite this experience, Biden is more confrontational with Democratic voters who question his positions than he is with elected Republicans.
In the same interview with TODAY, Guthrie asked Biden if he thought it at least looked bad for his son to take such a lucrative position in a country and industry where he had no experience. "Well, do you agree that it sets a bad image?" she asked. "Do you think it was wrong for him to take that position knowing it was really because the company wanted access to you?" Biden didn't take the suggestion lightly, snapping, "That’s not true. You’re saying things you don’t know what you’re talking about! No one’s said that! Who said that?!"
Drew Magary on the presumptuousness of the current front-runner.
Originally Appeared on GQ