If current signs are any indication, and Republicans finally grow a pair, the Democrats are in for a serious reckoning if and when the GOP retakes the House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm elections. After the Democrats spent an enormous amount of time investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot and attempting to impeach former President Donald Trump for a second time even though he was already out of office, it seems Republicans are ready to mete out some payback.
Lawmakers, congressional staffers and strategists predict a slew of investigations targeting the Biden administration, particularly if Republicans loyal to former President Donald Trump gain important committee seats in Congress.
Those seeking to pursue investigations include House Republicans Matt Gaetz, who pledged in a podcast to target the Department of Justice until “sphincters tighten,” Bob Gibbs, who has been pushing to impeach Biden since September over the Afghanistan pullout, and James Comer, a hopeful to become head of the House Oversight Committee.
Rep. Comer plans to launch an investigation into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, along with the White House’s handling of vaccine mandates and supply chain problems. The president’s team seems to have anticipated these probes and has taken steps to defend itself.
[The White House] hired a special advisor, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, to oversee implementation of the $1 trillion infrastructure law, which Republicans would likely scrutinize in search of fraud.
The White House also bolstered the legal counsel’s office with a longtime Democratic communications official to help with fallout from the chaotic U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.
Biden’s transition team after his 2020 election win formed the White House counsel’s office in anticipation of Republicans winning the Senate and pursuing investigations, one team member said.
Indeed, it appears Biden’s team expected investigations early in 2021 before Democrats won both of Georgia’s Senate seats in the January runoff elections. “We had every reason to believe that it was going to be a Republican Senate,” Andy Wright, director of legal policy for the transition team, explained. “That was built in to the original planning.”
Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, predicted that if the GOP retakes the House, they will “run the same play they did in 2011 but it will be even more unhinged and less credible.”
Richard Painter, who served as associate counsel in the George W. Bush administration said Republicans will “subpoena everything under the sun.”
But it is not only investigations that Democrats will have to worry about. “Some Republicans have already signaled an appetite for impeaching Biden,” according to Reuters. They indicated they would look into impeachment proceedings over the ongoing migrant crisis and the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Gibbs is joined by House Republicans Andy Biggs, Brian Babin and Randy Weber. Separately Marjorie Taylor Greene, a pro-Trump firebrand, filed articles of impeachment the day after Biden was sworn into office.
Greene’s attempts to launch impeachment proceedings against Biden were largely empty and came off more as a bid to get attention rather than actually make something happen. However, Gibbs’ effort might actually gain some traction if the GOP retakes the House. A Republican congressional staffer told Reuters: “[t]here will be a lot of pressure on Kevin McCarthy, if he’s speaker, to pursue impeachment of Biden from day one. He may not have much of a choice if he wants to retain the title.”
However, it is worth noting that attempting to impeach Biden will not likely result in his removal from office. But the GOP could use the proceedings to uncover information that would be politically damaging to Democrats. Moreover, it could also send a message to Congressional Democrats, who twice abused the impeachment process against President Trump for political reasons. The thinking might be that Democrats are less likely to continue engaging in that behavior if they know it will be used against them when they have control of the White House.
Of course, we can’t forget the vow made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) who declared the GOP would strip Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA, who looks like Dexter, from their committee assignments when the GOP regains control of the lower chamber. Naturally, the left isn’t too happy about this, but turnabout is fair play, is it not?
The investigations might not lead to any high-profile arrests or resignations, but in the end, that won’t matter. The likelihood is high that they will produce no small amount of juicy and salacious details that will serve to make Biden and his merry band of Democrats look even worse than they already do. If Republicans retake the House in November, Democrats will live to regret their abuses of power after 2023 rolls around.