Republicans Struggle to Justify Biden Impeachment Inquiry Ahead of Vote

As House Republicans make public their intent to move forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, they’re struggling to convince the public — and even themselves — that they’ll be able to obtain the evidence of the high crimes and misdemeanors necessary to impeach a president.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson published an op-ed in USA Today explaining his reasoning for formalizing the investigation into Biden, which has so far skirted the usual requirement of a floor vote to officially open an impeachment inquiry.

Johnson wrote that “opening a formal inquiry — backed by a vote of the full body — puts [Republicans] in the strongest legal position to gather the evidence and provide transparency to the American people.”

But in the hours after Johnson’s announcement, Republicans struggled to explain on what basis they’re moving forward with an impeachment investigation, and are being heavily questioned regarding their motivations and supposed commitment to transparency.

When Fox News host Maria Bartiromo questioned Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wisc.) on Tuesday regarding what he considered the “most damning” piece of evidence against Biden uncovered by Republicans, Tiffany pointed to long-debunked claims that President Biden had illicitly profited from his son’s relationship with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Later that day, Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told reporters that there were “probably not” any high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Biden, but that he would vote to move forward with the inquiry anyway. Bacon’s comment was referenced shortly after by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) during a meeting of the House Rules Committee intended to finalize the resolution that will be brought to a vote.

“This is not the beginning of something,” McGovern said. “This should be the end of something. You’ve been doing this for over a year, there’s no smoke, and this a colossal waste of time.”

During the same hearing, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) questioned fellow committee member Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) regarding exactly what constitutional crime Biden had committed. Reschenthaler was unable to provide a concrete response, telling Neguse that “we’re having an inquiry so we can do an investigation in the production of witnesses.”

When pressed, Reschenthaler deflected, and told the committee that he would explain the investigation once he was granted his own speaking time.

On Friday, even Fox News acknowledged that Republicans have made little progress proving their accusations of corruption against Biden. “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business, but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry,” Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy said.

And they will try their hardest, and use every tool in their arsenal to muddy the waters with unproven allegations of corruption against Biden — even as they support Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency in 2024 despite his multiple criminal indictments.

If the whole situation wasn’t already extremely noxious, Republicans also signaled on Tuesday that they would reserve the right to pick and choose what they disclose to the public, striking an amendment calling for “open and transparent” proceedings from the resolution they plan to bring to the floor.

When Rep. Neguse questioned why no such amendment was included in the resolution — despite Democrats committing to a public process in their own impeachment investigations against Trump, Rep. Thomas Massi (R-Ky.) was at a loss, absurdly attempting to claim that Republicans were doing a favor for Democrats.

“I suspect at some point the other side of the aisle will claim that the information that’s being publicly released has no business being in the public — about bank records and things like that. So maybe it’s in an effort to respect the wishes of the other side,” Massi said.

Neguse laughed. “Oh I’m sure that that’s the reason Mr. Massi,” he scoffed.

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