Trump Lobbying Key Republicans Over Attempt to Impeach Joe Biden – Donald Trump has engaged in talks with influential House Republicans regarding the party’s unlikely endeavor to impeach Joe Biden based on unverified corruption claims connected to his son Hunter Biden’s overseas business ventures.
Politico reported that Trump communicated with Elise Stefanik, the House of Representatives’ third-ranking Republican, before the speaker, Kevin McCarthy, officially declared an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. The news source mentioned that Trump and Stefanik have been holding weekly discussions, and they spoke once more shortly after the announcement was disclosed.
“I speak to President Trump a lot, I spoke to him today,” Stefanik, from New York, told reporters. Stefanik has been at the fore in Republican moves to push ahead with impeachment hearings despite the lack of evidence that Biden committed wrongdoing, let alone the “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” required under the US constitution. The New Yorker has been considered a potential vice-presidential running mate for Trump if he secures the Republican nomination to challenge Biden next year.
Additionally, Trump has been making efforts to connect with the far-right faction of the party, which has been exerting significant pressure on McCarthy to initiate an impeachment inquiry by using the threat of a government shutdown related to federal spending levels. Politico disclosed that the former president had a dinner meeting with Marjorie Taylor Greene, the staunchly right-wing representative from Georgia, at his New Jersey golf club just two nights prior to McCarthy’s announcement.
Greene told the New York Times she briefed Trump on her vision for an impeachment inquiry. She said she told him she hoped it would be “long and excruciatingly painful for Joe Biden.” Trump’s behind-the-scenes lobbying of prominent House Republicans tallies with his increasingly shrill public calls for impeachment. Trump faced impeachment twice – first for seeking damaging information about his political rivals in Ukraine and later for inciting the deadly attack on Congress on January 6, 2021.
In both instances, he managed to maintain enough support from Senate Republicans, resulting in acquittal. The revelation of Trump’s involvement is likely to fuel White House criticism that the impeachment inquiry is primarily aimed at tarnishing Biden’s approval ratings as the 2024 presidential election season unfolds. A White House spokesperson condemned the investigation as highly divisive politics.
McCarthy is also encountering backlash for his decision to initiate an inquiry without a full House vote, which marks a significant departure from his previous public statements. In 2019 he wrote to the then House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, arguing that if she went ahead with the impeachment inquiry that led to Trump’s first impeachment relating to Ukraine the process would be “completely devoid of any merit or legitimacy.”
As recently as this month, McCarthy reaffirmed his commitment to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry only if a full House vote supported it, as he stated in an interview with Breitbart. McCarthy’s sudden change of course in proceeding with an investigation without a vote seems to be driven by the challenging position he’s currently in. On one side, he is dealing with an increasingly assertive far-right faction, including Greene, which is pressuring him regarding raising the debt ceiling to prevent a government shutdown.
On the other side, numerous House Republicans have publicly expressed their doubts about the need for an impeachment inquiry, citing the absence of substantial evidence of Biden’s wrongdoing. This group includes staunch conservatives like Ken Buck of Colorado, who has characterized Greene’s fervent desire to impeach Biden as unreasonable.