Impeachment proceedings against Biden?
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, has opened a formal impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, saying he sees "credible" allegations of corruption. Whether impeachment proceedings will actually be initiated, as with Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, remains unclear. The move is also controversial among Republicans.
A major gamble for the Republicans
This manoeuvre could backfire if no concrete evidence against Biden comes to light, notes The Spectator:
“It will look less like a serious investigation and more like a partisan witch hunt or revenge for Trump’s impeachment. Poll after poll shows independents are sick of this tit-for-tat fighting. They have a long list of serious problems that need solutions. ... Failing to focus on those problems poses a second major risk for Republicans. Their party will be punished if an impeachment probe seems to distract them from working on issues that deeply concern voters.”
Loyalty will be put to the test
Svenska Dagbladet fears the political camps becoming even more polarised:
“It’s hard to say what political consequences investigations in a potential impeachment trial would have for Biden. In the polarised American reality, voters tend to follow their leaders regardless of what they are accused of. Trump has taught us that support for him tends to consolidate under such circumstances. It is not clear whether Biden’s supporters are as loyal — but the impeachment inquiry will put that to the test.”
McCarthy controlled by a handful of Trump supporters
The case highlights McCarthy’s weakness in his own camp, according to La Stampa:
“McCarthy’s decision not to let the House of Representatives vote on opening the investigation is telling. It was Trump’s wing that pushed for impeachment, while many Republicans are against it. Thus, there was a danger that the motion could have been shot down because the Republicans only have a slim majority of five votes. McCarthy, however, owes his election as speaker to a handful of Trump supporters who are now effectively blackmailing him by pushing him to adopt ever harsher positions.”
Removal from office extremely unlikely
Biden is firmly in the saddle, Le HuffPost explains:
“The investigation currently has little chance of leading to Biden’s removal from office. This is because his party has the majority in the Senate, which would have to pass judgement on the president should he end up being impeached by the deputies. ... No president has ever been removed from office in US history. Three have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021. But eventually they were all acquitted.”