After months of dedicated sleuthing by Rep. James Comer, Republicans have determined that President Joe Biden sometimes loans money to members of his family, and members of his family pay him back. That’s enough for Republicans to begin impeachment proceedings.
The vote on Wednesday will not mean that Biden is impeached. Instead, it will only put a formal stamp of approval on the work three Republican-led committees have conducted for the last year. That means Comer can continue waving around bank records showing that Hunter Biden paid back his father for a truck downpayment as if they are important. Rep. Jim Jordan can continue to chase Rudy Giuliani’s droppings and lie about activities in Ukraine that were debunked years ago. Only now both of them will officially be part of an impeachment inquiry instead of … whatever they’ve been doing all along.
While this proceeding won’t mean Biden has been impeached, that’s definitely where Republicans are going. Not because they have any evidence of wrongdoing, but because they want to please Donald Trump and give him ammunition for the upcoming election.
As The New York Times reports, despite having obtained 36,000 pages of bank records, Republicans have found no evidence that Joe Biden was enriched by the overseas business dealings of his son or any other family member. Republicans are left looking at $240,000 in money that Biden provided to other members of his family, which they paid back.
That’s it. That’s what they have on Biden.
None of that matters, because Republicans have already admitted why they are doing this. Rep. Troy Nehls told USA Today that they want to give the twice-impeached Trump “a little bit of ammo to fire back” and say that Biden was also impeached.
Some Republicans will vote for this proceeding because they want to please Trump. Some will vote because they are terrified of Trump. Even the headline of The New York Times article gives the game away: “House set to approve Biden impeachment inquiry as it hunts for an offense.” They don’t have evidence of wrongdoing. They don’t even know what charge they are going to lay against Biden.
They just know they have to make some charge—because this vote isn’t about Biden at all. It’s about Trump.
As Joan McCarter wrote yesterday, Republicans in the House are scrambling to announce themselves as loyal foot soldiers for Trump. Only one Republican representative, Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck of Colorado, is willing to write, “Republicans in the House who are itching for an impeachment are relying on an imagined history.”
Months of witnesses. A hundred-thousand pages of documents. And Republicans have still come up empty.
It’s almost as if Joe Biden is an honest man who has spent his life in service to his nation. And it’s almost as if Republicans don’t care about that. They only care about showing their allegiance to a man who has already been found guilty of fraud and who is currently facing 91 felony charges.
According to the house schedule, votes on formalizing the impeachment inquiry will be held around 5 PM ET.