In a memo released on Dec. 12, the reelection campaign of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris said the ongoing impeachment inquiry by Republicans in the House of Representatives into Biden is evidence that they are weaponizing the government to attack the political rivals of former President Donald Trump.
“The only branch of government MAGA Republicans control is following through on Donald Trump’s promise to use the levers of government to enact political retribution on his enemies,” Biden-Harris 2024 communications director Michael Tyler said in comments first reported by NBC News. “You know, like the followers of a dictator.”
The memo also accused Republicans of pursuing impeachment in an attempt to assist Trump’s presidential campaign.
Biden warned in remarks at a Dec. 5 campaign event that American democracy is under threat from Trump and the Republican Party. Trump has referred to his political opponents as vermin and said he would be a dictator on day one of a new term.
Before he was even officially sworn in as president, Republicans were already advocating for Biden’s impeachment.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) announced on Jan. 13, 2021, that she would be filing articles of impeachment against Biden. The announcement came on the same day that Trump was impeached by Congress on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol.
On party lines, the Republican-led House voted on June 22 to begin an impeachment investigation into Biden. On Sept. 12, then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy directed the House to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden and business dealings involving his family, including his son Hunter Biden.
Following the vote, other congressional Republicans offered support for an inquiry.
Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler claimed without evidence in a Sept. 12 statement that Republicans had “uncovered allegations of corruption by President Joe Biden.”
Republicans have struggled to provide evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.
In a Sept. 28 hearing of the House Oversight Committee led by Chair James Comer, legal scholars cast doubt on the proceedings.
Frequent Trump defender Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School was called to testify at the hearings by the Republican majority and said the allegations did not support articles of impeachment.
University of North Carolina professor Michael Gerhardt, a Democratic witness, noted that the inquiry was more partisan than previous impeachment proceedings. Inquiries into Trump and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon began after a full vote by the House; the Biden inquiry bypassed a full vote and instead was triggered by McCarthy.
In the course of the inquiry, Comer has frequently made unsupported allegations of “influence-peddling schemes” by Biden, which have not been supported by the committee’s findings.
Hosts on the Fox News Channel, which has a long history of supporting the Republican Party and the conservative movement, have chided the party over its failures.
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said during a Dec. 8 broadcast that while he believes Biden is a liar, he found the inquiry to be a waste of time.
“It looks like they’ve got the goods on Hunter Biden, but the Republicans have not made the case yet where Joe Biden profited from it,” his co-host Steve Doocy said during a Dec. 11 broadcast.
National opinion polling has shown a majority of voters oppose the inquiry.A Sept. 15-19 poll from NBC News showed that 56% of registered voters opposed the inquiry. The result was similar in a Sept. 25-28 PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, in which 52% said they disapproved of the House of Representatives launching an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.