Adoption of impeachment as a political tool. Politics


Republicans want to remove President Joe Biden from office. They’re fighting the Democrats and the administration over immigration policy. They want the president’s son Hunter Biden to be prosecuted for contempt of Congress and are openly pressuring the Justice Department to do so.

So far, the GOP hasn’t been able to get its way. And they’ve taken the skirmishes to an unprecedented new level: If you can’t beat ’em, impeach ’em. Several Biden Cabinet secretaries now face the possibility of being fired by the legislative branch — and experts say the strategy has gone too far.

“Impeachment used to be a thing where you only break the glass in the most extreme circumstances. That’s not happening anymore,” says Tom Whalen, a professor of social sciences at Boston University. “Now it’s just another political tool to use against your opponent.”

And there’s a reason for the reluctance, says Joshua Matze, who served as a House Judiciary Committee counsel during both impeachments of former President Donald Trump.

“My feeling is that, as a practical matter, there’s a good reason why the impeachment power has never worked in any meaningful way when it comes to the Cabinet,” said Kaplan Hecker in Washington, D.C. Most and says Matz, a partner at Fink LLP. Typically, a Cabinet member who has behaved badly would resign or be ousted by the president, he notes, and impeachment does not mean a simple no-confidence vote by rejecting members of the legislative branch.

But yet the House GOP impeachment march is on the march.

A House committee began hearings this week on whether to approve articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — basing the impeachment not on “high crimes and misdemeanors” but on Mayorkas’ handling of matters involving the southern border. To disappointment with performance.

GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee said, “Secretary Mayorkas has shamelessly refused to enforce laws passed by Congress that have intentionally made our country less safe. What we are seeing here is Secretary Mayorkas using his “There is a willful violation of the oath of office.” A hearing was initiated with the aim of removing Mayorkas from his job.

Homeland Security chief’s company. House Republicans have already launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden based on the theory — not yet publicly supported by evidence — that the president was nefariously involved in shady business deals made by his son Hunter. Are included.

The younger Biden, a private citizen who is not himself subject to impeachment, is a major player in another potential drama to remove a Cabinet member from office.

Republicans want Hunter Biden to be prosecuted for contempt of Congress for failing to respond to a subpoena to testify behind closed doors about his business dealings. Biden said he would only come out publicly to prevent his statements from being selectively leaked so as to make him (or his father) appear guilty of wrongdoing.

In a showy and noisy display on Wednesday, the younger Biden offered to testify in person before the House Oversight Committee — and was rejected by angry Republicans before walking out.

Republican Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina told Biden, “You are the epitome of white privilege coming to the Oversight Committee, spitting in our face, ignoring congressional subpoenas to impeach.” Testify when asked and say that he should be arrested and put in jail.

Some Republicans think the controversy could lead to the impeachment of the Attorney General, Merrick Garland.

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“I think so,” Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, chairman of the Oversight Committee, told Newsmax this week when asked if Garland could be impeached for failing to prosecute the younger Biden.

“We know how he has treated two Republicans who held him in contempt of Congress,” Comer told the conservative news outlet. “Now he will have the opportunity to do the same kind of justice to a Democrat who refused a lawful subpoena.”

The Justice Department actually charged two members of the Trump administration – Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro – with contempt for their failure to respond to subpoenas in the January 6 committee investigation. But the justices did not prosecute three other Republicans — White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark and former Trump deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino — whom the panel had referred to for legal action.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is on the hot seat, is also facing calls for his forced removal after it emerged that he was hospitalized for several days before informing the White House. While prominent Republicans and at least one Democrat have called for Austin to resign, Representative Matt Rosendale, a Montana Republican, has announced articles of impeachment against Austin.

Critics say there are several problems with this approach. A team of constitutional law scholars wrote a letter to House leaders on Mayorkas’ impeachment. Published on the site Just Security, This is “grossly inappropriate as a matter of constitutional law” because Mayorkas is not being accused of any crime – only of “mismanagement” of his agency.

And “there’s a bigger picture,” says Matze, one of the letter’s signers. “They are struggling to get the votes to impeach President Biden. The one thing they can all agree on is to impeach Mayorkas, because they believe immigration will be a popular and major topic is.”

Even if impeachment goes nowhere, “I think for some members it’s kind of a rush, a PR stunt for that member. The word ‘impeachment’ is nonsense to the media,” said Brad, a longtime Democratic activist. Woodhouse says. A senior advisor to the Congressional Integrity Project. Woodhouse says, “They’ll be mentioned on cable. And they’ll use it as a political club to push their politics for political reasons” and candidates.

Even though the Pentagon’s inspector general has formally investigated Austin’s failure to tell the White House that he was in the hospital (where he went into intensive care), experts say the politics of the situation complicated Biden’s response. Have given.

“The Secretary of Defense’s absence from action amounts to nothing less than a dereliction of duty,” Whelan says. But should Biden respond by firing Austin (which the White House has said he will not do), “it gives Republicans on a silver platter what they will call a victory.”

And critics say should the House use the powerful tool of impeachment to remove members of the Biden administration, the weapon would be weakened.

Former Representative John Kasich, who voted to impeach former President Bill Clinton in 1998, says, “The term is now just being thrown around left and right, taking its importance and seriousness away. “

Legally, impeachment efforts cannot succeed. But politically, Republicans are hoping for a home run.


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