Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has expressed caution toward the impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden.
During a closed-door meeting with House GOP moderates, Johnson reportedly highlighted the lack of sufficient evidence to begin formal proceedings, according to the Washington Post.
Representative Don Bacon (R-NE) echoed this sentiment, noting that even one Democratic vote is unattainable at this point.
“We’ll just go where the evidence goes and we’re not there yet,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), recapitulating Johnson’s remarks about the inquiry.
“Most of us are saying, look, we can’t even get a single Democratic vote on this right now. I think the voters will reject what they are seeing when it comes to Biden [policies] — but high crimes and misdemeanors? I don’t think we’ve seen that or enough data to really make a good case and I feel like [Johnson] really agreed with us on that,” Bacon added.
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Johnson, who told reporters that he has been “intellectually consistent” in cautioning against a rushed investigation during a news conference last week, has previously accused Biden of bribing or pressuring a foreign leader.
But in this week’s private meeting with moderates, Johnson appeared to agree with Republican lawmakers who argued that since Biden’s polling numbers have been so weak, there is less of a political imperative to impeach him, according to Bacon and others who attended the meeting.
“Is it pragmatic? Does it make sense? Connecting those dots matter,” Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.) said after the meeting. “So I don’t think it makes sense to move down a road unless those dots can be connected, and I think that’s the message he was trying to send to us which we appreciated.”
As Johnson has stressed thoroughness and specificity in the inquiry, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) has continued to call for formal impeachment proceedings. He issued subpoenas for Hunter Biden and James Biden on Wednesday, requesting the president’s son and brother appear for depositions, and requested voluntary closed-door interviews with other Biden family members, including Hallie Biden, the widow of Hunter’s older brother Beau with whom Hunter Biden had an affair after his brother died, and Hunter’s wife, Melissa Cohen. Comer issued additional subpoenas on Thursday requesting interviews with several of Hunter Biden’s business associates, including his New York City art gallerist, Georges Bergès, and Elizabeth Naftali, a buyer of Hunter Biden’s art who is also a Democratic donor.
Raj Shah, a spokesperson for the speaker, said Johnson “has consistently praised the work of Chairmen [Jim] Jordan, Comer and [Jason] Smith whose investigations have already demonstrated that the President and White House have repeatedly lied about the Biden family’s business dealings with foreign adversaries. He will support their efforts to follow the facts where they lead.”
Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer continues to vigorously pursue the investigation, issuing subpoenas to Hunter Biden and his associates Eric Schwerin and Mervyn Yan.
The new subpoenas come one day after Comer issued subpoenas to Hunter and James Biden for in-person depositions as part of his Committee’s impeachment inquiry.
Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has argued that the Republican base is “fed up” with party members who are unwilling to take a strong stance against Democrats.
According to her, the GOP must adopt a more assertive approach in order to restore confidence among its core supporters and ensure the nation’s security.
Greene said, “Our voters are not inspired to vote for a party that wants to play nice and refuses to hold accountable communists who locked everyone down during the scamdemic, violated their free speech and censored us on social media, steals elections, weaponizes the government against (us) it’s political enemies and is persecuting people, rips our border open to the entire world and floods our country with millions of unknown people and terrorists, funds every foreign war but refuses to defend our own border, and sexually grooms our children to the point they are cutting off their own body parts to “change their gender” before they are even finished growing up.”
She added, “The Republican Party is tone deaf and weak.”