The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is thoroughly botching the most important role assigned to it by the US Constitution, that of funding the government. With all the attention focused on that impending disaster, you can be excused for not noticing that that is not all they are bungling. While they play brinkmanship games within their caucus that threaten the livelihoods of vast numbers of people who will be adversely affected by a shutdown, they seem to have the time to waste on pointless activities, such as the impeachment of Joe Biden.
Yesterday saw the opening day of the impeachment inquiry headed by James Comer and it too was a bust, with even their opening witnesses, the people who were supposed to play starring roles, saying that they did not see any evidence on any crimes by Biden.
Forensic accountant Bruce Dubinsky, one of the GOP witnesses, undercut Republicans’ main narrative by saying there wasn’t enough evidence yet for him to conclude that there was “corruption” by the Bidens.
Conservative law professor Jonathan Turley also said that the House does not yet have evidence to support articles of impeachment against Joe Biden, but argued that House Republicans were justified in opening an impeachment inquiry.
Comer’s colleagues are not happy.
Some Republicans were also unhappy about how the hearing went. A senior GOP aide said that Comer’s strategy of feeding Fox News impeachment stories is not working and that “we are losing the media narrative game to the White House right now.”
“Calling witnesses that say the opposite of your narrative on impeachment is equally a bad strategy,” the aide said.
Another Republican aide who works for a lawmaker who supports the impeachment inquiry described what he saw of the hearing as “boring” with “no bombshells.”
They could not even time things right. By holding their inquiry on the eve of a potential government shutdown, they ensured that their event would be overshadowed by that more important news, and that they would be accused of fiddling while Rome burns.
Democratic congressman Jamie Raskin’s opening statement during the inquiry pretty much says it all.
It’s hard to grasp the complete derangement of this moment. Three days before they’re set to shut down the United States government, Republicans launch a baseless impeachment drive against President Biden. No one can figure out the logic of either course of action. Why shut down the U.S. government, something no enemy nation has ever succeeded in doing? Why impeach a president who has committed no high crimes and misdemeanors, no low crimes and misdemeanors, and no crimes at all? There is plainly no reason to justify a shutdown and plainly no evidence to justify impeachment.
The only explanation for either folly is actually the explanation for both of them: they both flow out of the explicit and adamant demands of a calculating and narcissistic Donald Trump.
Trump has repeatedly called for Republicans to shut down the government as the “last chance” to stop the four “political prosecutions” against him on 91 different criminal charges. He and his sycophants would gladly deny paychecks to more than a million service members and strip food assistance from millions of women and children on the off-chance Trump could delay having to face juries of his peers for dozens of alleged criminal offenses.
Similarly, Trump is explicitly threatening his House followers to impeach President Biden because Trump was himself impeached. “They did it to us,” he says. But that is not the constitutional standard, which refers to treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.
A surprisingly large number of Republican Members now admit that Chairman Comer’s investigation has failed to produce evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden. Republicans can see that Chairman Comer’s whole sham impeachment drive is based on a lie crafted and peddled by Trump and Rudy Giuliani that has been repeatedly debunked by multiple credible sources. Even Lev Parnas, Giuliani’s right-hand man who gallivanted all over the world to help frame Joe Biden, now concedes there is nothing to the Burisma conspiracy theory and has told Comer to call off the “wild goose chase.”
The GOP’s opposition to Trump’s impeachment was a tragedy. The GOP’s support for Biden’s impeachment is a farce.
Yep, that about sums it up.