Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. After the call launched a few days ago by Donald Trump on his social network to “either dismiss the good for nothing” – we are talking here about Joe Biden – “or sink into oblivion” – it is a question here of the Republican Party -, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, decided on Tuesday to launch an impeachment investigation targeting the current occupant of the White House. Because “they did it to us”, justified Donald Trump, himself facing two investigations, then two impeachment trials during and just after his presidency.
The procedure, driven by revenge, however, seems to rest on fragile foundations and accusations which struggle to be supported by facts. It could very quickly become a double-edged sword for the Republican Party in the run-up to a presidential election in which the party could embark with a candidate, Donald Trump, tainted by four ongoing trials, including two for having sought to pervert the electoral process and American democracy.
Why are Republicans seeking to impeach Joe Biden?
The impeachment investigation launched Tuesday against the American president focuses mainly on the business relations of his family, and particularly those of his son, Hunter Biden, abroad. She also seeks to exploit an investigation for tax crimes launched by the American justice system against this same Hunter and which the president would have unduly slowed down, according to the Republicans.
“This impeachment investigation is nothing other than a political ploy concocted by the most extremist members of the Republican caucus of the House of Representatives,” summarizes political scientist Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. of the House of Representatives in an interview with Le Devoir. Northwestern University in Illinois. And unfortunately, Kevin McCarthy is so weak that he doesn’t have the ability to stand up to the group of elected officials who are behind this. »
Donald Trump has been working behind the scenes for several months to obtain this impeachment investigation, by putting pressure, among others, on Elise Stefanik, an influential member of the radical fringe of the party in the House. She also said she spoke with the populist shortly before McCarthy’s announcement on Tuesday.
For several months, this radical fringe has been tirelessly digging into Hunter Biden’s past and into the affairs he carried out in Ukraine, among others, while his father was vice-president, to find evidence of a corruption that would have benefited Joe Biden. In vain.
At the beginning of the week, the Congressional Integrity Project described as a “dismal failure” the investigation carried out for eight months by the House Oversight Committee under the chairmanship of the radical James Comer to fuel this impeachment. In its report, which examines a false scandal, the group which monitors the activities of elected officials in Washington believes that the only success of the Republicans in this matter is ultimately to have “repeatedly exaggerated the allegations” of pot – wine and corruption against Biden, only to see them, one after the other, reduced to nothing by the careful examination of the facts, he explains.
What impact will this call for the impeachment of Joe Biden have?
“This indictment will achieve nothing for two reasons. First, it is not clear that Hunter Biden committed serious crimes in his work overseas. Second, there is no evidence that President Biden, while serving as vice president, took advantage of his office to help his son in his business affairs,” says Alvin B. Tillery, Jr.
“And even if Republicans managed to highlight irregularities in Hunter Biden’s affairs to embarrass the president, none of that would ultimately matter in an impeachment case,” adds Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha. , specialist in American politics and professor at the University of North Texas.
Ironically, the weakness of the cause does not seem to have escaped several slightly more moderate Republicans within the House. Monday, in the pages of the magazine ForbesOhio Rep. David Joyce called any calls to impeach Joe Biden “premature,” citing the fact that he sees “no facts or evidence at this point.”
On Tuesday, the White House not only denounced the absurdity of the approach, but also called in a memo sent to the country’s independent media to “intensify their examination of an indictment based on lies”. She recalls that a call for impeachment is “serious, rare and historic” and must be based, according to the Constitution, on accusations of “treason, corruption” or on “serious crimes and misdemeanors”. The Republicans have not provided proof of “none of this”, adds the headquarters of the American executive power, specifying: “in the modern media environment, where every day liars and peddlers of disinformation spread lies, Facebook to Fox, reporting that fails to expose the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans base all their actions ultimately only serves to generate confusion and obscure the truth.”
On Tuesday, Kevin McCarthy launched the investigation against Biden without putting it to a House vote. The small majority of Republicans coupled with the reluctance of a few moderates could have compromised the implementation of the project.
If the representatives were to demand the dismissal of the president at the end of this investigation, the procedure is however doomed to come to nothing when arriving in the Senate where the Democrats hold a majority and where several Republican senators have decried the vacuum on which the Republicans of the House seek to impeach Joe Biden.
In the pages of daily life The Hill, Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, recalled Tuesday that the impeachment of a president “should generally be avoided in the interest of the country”. “This should not become routine,” he added.
Can the procedure turn against the Republicans?
The risk is high. “This coup can only provide further proof to the American people that the Republican Party is ultimately no longer a serious party when it comes to governing and that it is no longer able to use its power to solve people’s problems,” says Alvin B. Tillery, Jr.
However, on Tuesday, Republican Marjorie Taylor-Greene, close to Donald Trump, warned that this impeachment investigation would last “as long as necessary”, that is to say until the 2024 presidential election, so as to be able to become, without doubt, a component of his party’s campaign to regain the White House.
“It should be kept in mind that Republicans did not make the gains they hoped for in the 2022 midterm elections and several candidates may have difficulty supporting a weak impeachment inquiry, if it risks “affect their re-election in 2024,” says Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha. “If Republicans do not have a strong case to impeach Biden, but seek to do so anyway, the American people could punish them” once they arrive at the polls.