JiLegal warfare has become the new normal in American politics, it is quickly becoming a parallel battleground where the next presidential election will be disputed.
Former President Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress are gaining traction for a counter-offensive against President Joe Biden.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy resurfaced the campaign to impeach Biden last week, following a separate impeachment effort that is under review by House committees.
In mid-June, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert introduced articles of impeachment against Biden “for his unconstitutional dereliction of duty at the southern border.”
“Instead of enforcing our immigration laws, he has lawlessly ignored them and released more than 2 million illegal aliens into the interior of the United States without any enforcement mechanism to ensure that they appear in immigration court,” said Boebert.
In reality, undetected or unlawful crossings were likely higher in the early 2000s, CBS News reported, citing data.
Also, Trump-era policies remained in place for most of Biden’s presidency thus far. The controversial Title 42 statute only lifted this past May. Since then, unlawful entries between ports of entry along the Southwest Border decreased by more than 70%, while repatriations efforts continue.
Boebert pushed to move directly to a House vote on the issue, but McCarthy negotiated to delay an impeachment vote by referring the articles to the Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee for review.
The more moderate section of the Republican Party is concerned that the impeachment claims against Biden are far-fetched, and that would arm Democrats with ammo to criticize the GOP of extremism.
Speaker McCarthy has not yet endorsed Trump’s presidential bid. He’s stuck between a rock and a hard place as he navigates his leadership within the GOP representatives while avoiding explicit support for Trump.
McCarthy was recently put on the spot for a promise he reportedly made to Trump, by which he’d lead a campaign to expunge his previous impeachments from Congress records.
Last week, McCarthy gave in to pressure from the Trumpist wing of Congress Republicans and resurfaced an impeachment investigation that is looking to accuse Biden of corruption and financial wrongdoing related to his family’s businesses abroad.
Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is at the center of the controversy. The lawyer and businessman reportedly evaded millions in taxes and used his father’s influence (when vice president of the Obama administration), to benefit his business enterprises.
On Monday, McCarthy stated that two IRS whistleblowers were brought onto the investigation. They’re claiming that the Department of Justice gave preferential treatment to Hunter Biden in previous litigation.
McCarthy said that Biden’s actions “would rise to the level of an impeachment inquiry.” However, the House investigations have yet to produce enough evidence to warrant Biden of impeachment, and McCarthy himself said the impeachment process is still at an early stage.
An impeachment inquiry would be the first step into launching a full impeachment campaign, culminating in a floor vote.
Republican presidential candidates Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley expressed support for the efforts to impeach Biden, rallying with other GOP members looking to convict the incumbent President.
“Well, I do believe we are, at this point, an inquiry is different from an impeachment vote and is another tool in the toolbox,” said Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Trump was impeached twice by the House of Representatives while in office. One impeachment was for accounts of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and the second one, just one week before the end of his term, was due to his involvement in the Jan. 6 uprising on Capitol Hill.
The Senate acquitted both impeachments, nullifying the charges.
After leaving office, Trump was subject to several more efforts to undermine his political strength by litigation. Trump was already indicted twice, once in New York and another by a federal court, which raised criminal charges.
“Impeachment is the political equivalent of indictment because we cannot indict a sitting president,” said Bill Mitchell, host YourVoice America. “It would appear both parties are attempting to “’interfere with the election.’”
A third indictment, related to his influence in the Jan. 6 insurrection was announced Aug. 1.
Paradoxically, legal action against Trump has boosted his image and cemented his presidential bid.
Even if an impeachment vote reaches the House floor and passes, it will likely die in the Democrat-controlled Senate, as impeachments need a supermajority vote to turn into a conviction.
An impeachment against Biden could backfire for the GOP. If the impeachment is not voted positive by both chambers of Congress, it has the ability to boost Biden’s image in an already delicate political scenario for Republicans, many of whom are not certain that Trump can beat Biden in an election.
On the other hand, while real expectations for Biden to be fully impeached are unlikely, achieving a half-impeachment by the House would position Biden in a similar territory to Trump, blurring perceived moral differences between the two, and further eroding trust in the legitimacy of legal actions against political figures.
Produced in association with Benzinga