Kevin McCarthy is making it increasingly clear that he intends to open an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden—but some of his Republicans are furious with him for it.
Republicans have insisted for months that Biden is guilty of corruption and influence peddling overseas, despite producing no actual evidence. McCarthy has suggested opening an impeachment inquiry into Biden next month, once Congress returns from recess, so that Republicans can access more information and witnesses, which will supposedly lead them to the truth.
McCarthy is doubling down on his threat behind closed doors, CNN reported Monday, but Republicans are not unified behind him.
“There’s no evidence that Joe Biden got money, or that Joe Biden, you know, agreed to do something so that Hunter could get money. There’s just no evidence of that,” one GOP lawmaker, speaking anonymously, told CNN. “And they can’t impeach without that evidence. And I don’t I don’t think the evidence exists.”
Representative Matt Rosendale, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, on Monday called an impeachment inquiry into Biden “long overdue” but accused McCarthy of using the threat to distract from upcoming appropriations votes.
“I’m afraid now that he’s bringing it up just to use it as a distraction so that he can try and push forward this continued resolution which many of us are not going to sign off on,” Rosendale told Newsmax.
Congress has not passed all the necessary appropriations bills, and it is unlikely to do so by its September 30 deadline. Party leaders on both sides have suggested passing a continuing resolution to keep funds flowing until all the bills have passed. But the Freedom Caucus, a group of far-right House Republicans, says it will not support a stopgap. If Congress fails to pass the stopgap measure, the government is at risk of a shutdown.
McCarthy has warned a shutdown would prevent Republicans from continuing to investigate Biden, including by opening an impeachment inquiry, in an attempt to bridge the gap between sides. But it doesn’t seem to be working.
Ken Buck, another member of the Freedom Caucus, slammed all the impeachment inquiry talk in July. “This is impeachment theater,” the Colorado Republican told CNN’s Dana Bash.
“What [McCarthy’s] doing is he’s saying, ‘There’s a shiny object over here, and we’re really going to focus on that. We just need to get all these things done so that we can focus on the shiny object,’” Buck said. “Most of us are concerned about spending.”