Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Malloy: Impeachment looms if Republicans prevail

| September 12, 2022 12:18 PM

Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher says that better days lie ahead if Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives after November’s mid-term elections — a prospect that appears to be quite strong with soaring gas prices, run-away inflation and President Biden’s low approval rating.

And, oh yes, expect Republicans to push for impeaching Biden after the new Congress convenes in January. Articles of impeachment already have been filed; all Republicans are waiting for is to gain a majority in the House. All this could happen, even if Democrats retain control of the Senate.

Impeachment, once viewed as an extreme and somber action against presidents accused of engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors, is now a tool for something else. House Democrats pushed for impeachment of President Trump twice, knowing full well that their efforts would not succeed in the Senate. At least some Republicans are eager to return the favor, even though there is almost zero chance that the Senate will remove the president from office.

“There will be an effort (to impeach), yes,” Fulcher told me. “Will it turn into a formal process? I don’t think so. I think there is justification for it, but I have a concern about continuing the precedent. Are we going to go through this every two years? I don’t think it’s in the best interest for the country. There is a significant contingent of members who don’t think impeachment should be used as a political tool.”

Fulcher says that another stopping point for impeachment is the prospect of Vice President Kamala Harris moving to the Oval Office … and no telling who would be appointed as vice president.

So, impeachment in this case is not about high crimes, misdemeanors, rule of law and all those other murky details that go with putting a president on trial in Congress. It’s about what flaming liberals are in line for taking the nation’s two highest offices. Republicans, who are still peeved about the politics that came into play during two impeachments of Trump, are ready for payback.

According to the New American magazine, several House Republicans have filed articles of impeachment, saying Biden’s conduct “warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

According to the magazine article, the reasons include: Lack of border enforcement; the handling of the coronavirus pandemic; the mismanaged withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan; the “illegal” cancellation of student loan debts; the eviction moratorium prohibiting property owners from evicting renters who violate their leases by not payng rent; and issues relating to Hunter Biden “that the mainstream media continue to ignore.”

One more reason could be added: Republicans can’t stand Biden. The “justifications” are more in line with policy disagreements, opposed to crimes committed by the president. But impeachment proceedings could help remove the president the old-fashioned way — through the 2024 election.

It will be great political theater, for sure.

“I have consistently said President Biden should be impeached for intentionally opening our border and making Americans less safe,” said Rep. Bob Good of Virginia in the New American story. “Congress has a duty to hold the president accountable for this and any other failures of his constitutional responsibilities, so a new Republican majority must be prepared to aggressively conduct oversight on day one.”

Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona says he’d expect impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Aleandro Mayorkas, in addition to Biden.

While Fulcher doesn’t appear eager to play the impeachment card, he generally lines up with the sentiment — and he’d likely endorse removing Biden and others if it came to a House vote. His immediate focus is his campaign for re-election and thoughts about how Congress — and the nation — would be better off with Republicans controlling the House.

More about that later.

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Chuck Malloy, a longtime Idaho journalist and Silver Valley native, is a columnist with Idaho Politics Weekly. He may be reached at ctmalloy@outlook.com.