Investigating and Impeaching Biden May Not Work Out the Way the GOP Wants | Opinion

No one expected Rep. Lauren Boebert's re-election to be close. Her Colorado district favors Republicans by 9 percentage points, she outraised her Democratic opponent by $1.5 million, and the top election handicapper gave the seat its least competitive rating, "solidly Republican." Yet, in a shocking rebuke to the right-wing incumbent, the election came down to only a few hundred votes.

Her unexpected political vulnerability provides a clear warning about what could happen to other Republican politicians like her.

Boebert represents the worst excesses of the right. Like other Republicans in Congress, she has long planned to use unfounded investigations to damage President Biden politically, rile up her base, and send former President Donald Trump back to the Oval Office. She bought campaign ads calling the president's son, Hunter Biden, names Newsweek can't publish and spent the weeks before Election Day promoting a Republican plan to investigate him in the next Congress.

Boebert Wants Investigations of Biden
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Recently Boebert said if Republicans took control of the House, impeaching Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas "should be a priority." Last year, she absurdly introduced articles of impeachment against President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

She's one of many prominent Republicans who spend more time plotting investigations than helping their constituents. Earlier this year, Rep. Jim Jordan, the likely new chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said these partisan investigations "will help frame up the 2024 race, when I hope and I think President Trump will run again. And we need to make sure that he wins."

Republican leaders used their first day after retaking the House to smear Biden's family. Over 30 House Republicans have already signed a resolution to impeach Mayorkas, and others have shared plans to impeach the attorney general and secretary of state. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) predicted House Republicans would impeach Biden "whether it's justified or not."

The worst of this partisan overreach is sadly yet to come. Trump is cheering on the right-wing agitators, calling Republican leaders in the House to ask "how many" times they will impeach Biden. Left unstated, of course, is any legitimate reason for doing so.

The true motivation for spending valuable time and taxpayer dollars conducting partisan, baseless investigations is clear.

They're reusing a page from a playbook we've seen before. The last time Republicans ran the House, the likely next speaker, then-Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, bragged about using the Benghazi investigation, a two-year, $7-million spectacle to hurt Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming president. They never found any wrongdoing: they were just playing politics. And now they're trying to do it again.

Legitimate oversight of the executive branch is an important responsibility of Congress. For six years, Democrats and some Republicans investigated Trump's grave misconduct, including threatening the peaceful transfer of power, politicizing the Justice Department, and profiting off the presidency. Yet, Boebert and her allies did everything in their power to block Congress from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities. There is no reason to believe these hypocrites—many of whom tried to overturn the results of the presidential election and refuse to condemn the violence of Jan. 6— are acting in good faith.

Consider how, during Trump's first impeachment, likely Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan lied to the press and the public about witness testimony to protect the former president. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the next Oversight Committee Chairman, voted against the initial bipartisan proposal to establish an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. His hometown Kentucky newspaper described his newfound appreciation for congressional oversight as centered on "embarrassing Democrats rather than coming to grips with the truth."

These Republican leaders were planning to begin their partisan investigations with a large House majority. But the voters had other plans: they didn't deliver a "red wave" and, in fact, handed Biden the strongest midterm election results of any president in 20 years.

In Boebert's district and across the country, the American people sent a loud and clear message to Republicans on election night: stop the partisan saber rattling and focus on solutions to the problems American families face. Instead of working with Biden to curb inflation and keep our country strong, expect congressional Republicans to make good on their promises to investigate, impeach, and impede progress in Washington.

Kyle Herrig is the executive director of the Congressional Integrity Project.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.