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November 10, 2023 03:41 PM UTC

Sorry Lauren Boebert, Impeachment Appears To Be Dead

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  • by: Colorado Pols
House Speaker Mike Johnson and Rep. Lauren Boebert, discussing something other than impeachment.

As the Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany reported this morning, newly-elected Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson broke some tough but long-due news this week to members of his caucus who have spent the year determined to impeach President Joe Biden with or (as it turns out) without evidence: it’s not happening.

In a closed-door meeting with House GOP moderates this week, [Johnson] indicated that there is insufficient evidence at the moment to initiate formal impeachment proceedings, according to people who attended the meeting.

“We’ll just go where the evidence goes and we’re not there yet,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said, paraphrasing Johnson’s comments on the inquiry at the Republican Governance Group’s weekly lunch on Tuesday. “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.”

So far, House Republicans have not put forth any direct evidence that Biden profited from his son Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine and elsewhere, nor has the president been linked to any potential wrongdoing in the probe of the Justice Department’s investigation of his son — the two issues Republicans identified when announcing the inquiry. Republicans identified two IRS agents who alleged the administration hamstrung the DOJ’s investigation into the president’s son’s finances. But the special counsel in charge of that investigation has flatly rejected that theory, as have other investigators and witnesses involved with the case. The White House has called the inquiry a “baseless, evidence-free” stunt.

A week after winning the vote for Speaker on October 25th, Johnson was already hedging his bets on impeachment, but had promised a decision would be reached soon:

If today’s report holds up, and we trust nothing out of House GOP leadership until it’s confirmed in triplicate, the decision has been made. There has been no public reaction to this news so far today from leading impeachment cheerleader Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who made fast friends with Johnson as Johnson became the belated consensus pick among Republicans in the embarrassing aftermath of Kevin McCarthy’s removal from the post. Allowing the Freedom Caucus to barrel ahead on their question to impeach President Biden out of pure evidence-free revenge on behalf of Donald Trump was one of Boebert’s principal demands during the protracted fight over McCarthy winning the speaker’s gavel back in January, so if Johnson truly has decided to half the impeachment proceeding for lack of evidence Boebert is going to have to explain why she isn’t demanding Johnson’s head on a metaphorical plate.

The half-baked tit-for-tat quest to impeach Biden is just the first in what could be a long line of embarrassing walk-backs for Boebert and the Freedom Caucus, as Johnson is forced to square his fractious House’s unworkable demands with the need for the House to perform its most basic responsibilities like funding the government before the next shutdown deadline at the end of next week. The question becomes, will the hard-liners who coalesced around Johnson after weeks of indecision tolerate Johnson shining them on the same way Kevin McCarthy did?

Or will Mike Johnson set a new record for the shortest speakership in history?

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