Former President Donald Trump, who was impeached twice during his single tenure in office, is privately asking his allies in Congress “how many” times they intend to impeach President Joe Biden should they win control of the House of Representatives in the midterm races.
As of right now, it’s unclear who will win control of either house of Congress, as the data suggests it could go either way. But most prognosticators believe that the GOP will take over the House come January.
According to the U.S. Constitution, the impeachment process begins in the House. If a president is impeached by the House, the Senate must hold a trial and vote by a two-thirds concurrence to indict a sitting president in order to remove them from office.
Given the nearly even partisan split in the Senate, which is predicted to remain after this year’s races, it’s unlikely that a Biden impeachment would be successful. But Trump may have aims beyond Biden’s removal; his line of questioning to his allies hints that he wants Biden to hold the distinction of being the most impeached president in U.S. history, rather than himself.
According to reporting from Rolling Stone, Trump asked for a timeline of when Biden could be impeached, including when inquiries into his alleged misconduct could begin, two sources with knowledge of the conversations said. He also asked multiple times how many members of the GOP caucus would support attempts to impeach Biden.
“Biden deserves it,” Trump said, according to one of the sources — though for what reason Trump believes Biden should be impeached, it’s unclear.
The former president has also expressed some concern that the plan could backfire, asking if an impeachment could be successful, or if it “would be good for [Biden’s] polls,” the source added.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California), the current House Minority Leader and presumptive Speaker of the House should Republicans win control of that chamber, said this fall that he doesn’t think the country would “like impeachment used for political purposes at all.”
On whether Biden deserves to be impeached, McCarthy demurred. “I don’t see it before me right now,” he said.
There will undoubtedly be impeachment efforts by Republicans with strong ties to Trump, however. Rep. Bob Good (R-Virginia) has said that he and Trump loyalists would go after Biden “on day one.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), who Trump has reportedly considered as a running mate for a presidential run in 2024, previously introduced articles of impeachment against Biden in January 2021, during her first month in office (and within the first week of the Biden presidency) — at the same time Trump himself was facing impeachment proceedings for his instigating the Capitol attack.
Greene has given every indication that she will try to impeach Biden again. “It will be easy,” she tweeted earlier this week.
Critics have condemned the GOP’s plans for impeachment, noting that Americans face far more urgent priorities.
“The House GOP plan to tackle inflation is to impeach Joe Biden,” MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted on Monday.
Former President Barack Obama has also weighed in on the issue. At a campaign rally in October, he recognized that Republicans “will impeach Joe Biden.”
“When you ask them what for, they’re not sure yet,” Obama said, eliciting laughter from the audience. “You’re laughing but it’s true. Now here’s the question, how is that going to help you?”