House Republicans are expected to schedule a floor vote this week to officially authorize their wild goose chase of an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. It could happen as early as Wednesday, The Messenger reports.
While ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) initially argued that a formal vote wasn’t necessary for House Republicans to begin their investigation, some members have begun pushing for one in recent weeks, claiming it’ll help the party better enforce its subpoenas for testimony — like the one it issued to depose Hunter Biden last month.
The problem is the President’s son is complying with their subpoena, he’s just doing it in a way that will out House Republicans’ lack of evidence against President Biden. Hunter Biden responded to the panel’s subpoena last month by agreeing to appear for a deposition, but requesting that it be held in public, rather than behind closed doors. That’s because, his attorney argued, Hunter Biden doesn’t trust House Republicans to accurately convey his testimony to the media. It’s a fair argument.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) shot it down, saying Hunter Biden was trying to “play by his own rules instead of following the rules,” but said he could maybe testify in public another time. It was another datapoint on the unserious nature of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation: If Comer et al. actually believed they have evidence to skewer the Biden family with, they’d be all for a public testimony. But after their first public impeachment inquiry “hearing” ended in Republicans’ star witnesses acknowledging there was no evidence President Biden had committed a crime, Comer likely wants to avoid a similarly embarrassing situation.
All of this sets the stage for remarks made by the Democrat challenging President Biden in the primaries. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) told Semafor he, like all Democrats, doesn’t see any “evidence” of wrongdoing that warrants an impeachment inquiry broadly — but he sought to have it both ways, sprinkling some self-serving kindling on the House Republicans’ disingenuous fire.
“I don’t see the evidence of it, but yes, when your own son and your own brother are clearly, at the very least unethical and at worst, doing illegal things — my goodness, of course the country pays attention to it,” Phillips said. “People do believe that it perhaps makes him unelectable — somehow, it conflates him with the Trump family’s indiscretions.”
It’s not the first time in recent days that Phillips has tried to equate President Biden with Donald Trump, arguing that the American voter would surely be confused by the similarity. The quixotic Biden challenger responded “yes” over the weekend when asked if he believed the President was a threat to democracy. He was mostly commenting in response to news that Biden will be the only Democrat on the ballot in Florida and his decision to skip the primary ballot in New Hampshire, after the state jumped ahead of South Carolina in the primary schedule, breaking a new Democratic Party rule.
Phillips’ remarks, which nod at legitimizing the House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry, may capture some headlines, but they won’t win him the nomination. The false equivalency does little but help MAGA Republicans in their bid to reclaim levers of power.
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