On a large patio overlooking the golf course at his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey, former US President Donald Trump dined Sunday evening with a close political ally, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.
It was an opportunity for the former president to hear from the representative of the hard right of Georgia. But over a halibut and a Diet Coke, Mme Greene touched on a topic of great interest to Mr. Trump: the push by House Republicans to impeach his likely opponent in next year’s election.
“I informed him of the strategy that I would like to see implemented for the impeachment,” said Mr.me Greene during a brief telephone interview.
Mr. Trump’s dinner with Mr.me Greene came two days before House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced his decision Tuesday to order an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, under intense pressure from his wing RIGHT.
In recent months, Mr. Trump has closely followed House Republicans’ push to impeach Mr. Biden. He spoke regularly by telephone with members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and other congressional Republicans who pushed for impeachment, according to a person close to Mr. Trump who was not authorized to speak. speak publicly about these conversations. Mr. Trump has encouraged these efforts privately and publicly.
Mme Greene, who introduced articles of impeachment against Mr Biden, said she told Mr Trump she wanted the impeachment inquiry to be “long and excruciatingly painful for Joe Biden”.
She would not say what Mr. Trump responded, but she stressed that her ultimate goal was to obtain a “long list of names” – people who she said were co-conspirators involved in the crimes of the Biden family. She said she was confident Trump would win back the White House in 2024 and wanted to “go after every single one of them and use the Department of Justice to prosecute them.”
No evidence against the president
As Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, is under investigation by a special counsel who is expected to soon file charges against him for gun possession and could also accuse him of not having filed his tax return on time, the Republicans have not demonstrated that Joe Biden had committed any crime.
House Republicans are continuing the impeachment inquiry without evidence that Joe Biden took formal actions as vice president to further his son’s financial interests or that he directly profited from his son’s dealings. last abroad.
Over the past month, Mr. Trump has also spoken weekly with Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, according to a person with knowledge of those conversations, who was not authorized to discuss them. speak publicly. During these conversations, Mme Stefanik also briefed Mr. Trump on the impeachment inquiry strategy, this person said.
The former president thanked Mr.me Stefanik for publicly supporting the impeachment inquiry in July, this person added. Mme Stefanik, who spoke again with Mr. Trump on Tuesday after Mr. McCarthy ordered an impeachment inquiry, was the first member of the House Republican leadership to publicly call for the first step in the impeachment procedure for Mr. Biden is taken.
A person familiar with Mr. Trump’s thoughts said that, despite his eagerness to move the investigation forward, the former president did not force Mr. McCarthy’s hand. Mr. Trump has been much more aggressive in pushing several members to expunge his own impeachment record, this person said, potentially leading Congress to take the unprecedented step of expunging his two impeachment proceedings from the impeachment record. House of Representatives.
Mr. Trump has not expressed concern that Mr. McCarthy’s impeachment effort could backfire and benefit Mr. Biden, according to two people with direct knowledge of his private statements over several months. . Instead, he asked an ally why there was no movement to impeach Mr. Biden when he learned the House of Representatives was returning to session.
A spokesman for Mr. McCarthy did not respond to a question about his interactions with the former president over impeachment.
Asked about it, Mr. Trump’s communications director, Steven Cheung, recalled Mr. Trump’s public statements about impeaching Mr. Biden.
The former president’s public comments on the possibility of Joe Biden’s impeachment veered from wistful musings about the Justice Department’s supposed inaction to explicit demands.
They persecuted us and yet Joe Biden is a pure criminal, caught in the act, and nothing happens to him. Forget family. Nothing happens to him.
Donald Trump, former President of the United States, at a rally in March
In June, during a town hall meeting with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Mr. Trump lamented what happened after authorities found boxes of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago property and at the Biden residence in Delaware.
“It’s a dual system of government,” Mr. Trump said. “You’re talking about law and order. We cannot bring law and order to a country where there is such corruption. »
The same month, after Mr. Trump was indicted for improperly retaining sensitive national security documents and obstructing the work of investigators, he said that if re-elected, he would appoint a special prosecutor to “attack” Mr. Biden and his family.
As early as July, Mr. Trump began suggesting that Republicans should impeach him, and as the summer wore on, he became more vocal about his desire.
“So they are indicting me for a ‘perfect’ phone call and they are not indicting Biden for being the most corrupt president in American history,” Mr. Trump wrote in all caps on his social media platform, Truth Social.
In late August, in another almost all-caps post on the Truth Social network, the former president wrote, referring to congressional Republicans: “Either impeach this loser or be forgotten.” This is what they did to us! »
This article was originally published in the New York Times.