The Justice Department is looking into whether Hunter Biden violated tax and foreign lobbying laws, a matter that is expected to be resolved in the coming months. Regardless of what Attorney General Merrick B. Garland decides, he is likely to be accused by Republicans of giving preferential treatment to the president’s son.
Still, Republicans are divided on whether it is already a good idea to talk about impeachment.
In April, Rep. Greg Murphy, a Republican from North Carolina, told Fox News there were “lots” of grounds to impeach Mr. Biden, citing the border crisis, Afghanistan and other ways he said the president had committed offenses “against the heart and soul of this country. The dilemma, Mr. Murphy said, was that Ms. Harris, who would become president if Mr. Biden was impeached, was worse off.
A few days later, a Fox News host played this clip for Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who will likely become president if Republicans take the House, and asked him if he would act to impeach Mr. Biden. Mr McCarthy, the Minority Leader, accused Democrats of using impeachment “for political reasons”, which he said Republicans would not do. Still, he has vowed to hold the Biden administration accountable and follow the facts.
“We believe in the rule of law,” McCarthy said. “We’re not going to choose just because someone has the power. We will enforce the law. At any time, if someone breaks the law and the offshoot becomes an impeachment, we would head for that. But we are not going to use it for political purposes.
But his comments drew immediate rebukes from a range of right-wing commentators and some lawmakers who had previously approved impeachment resolutions. As the fallout from the January 6 attack showed – Mr McCarthy initially said he would tell Mr Trump to quit, but then turned to kiss him – he is used to to bow to the winds of his party.
Catherine Edmondson contributed report.