Impeachment talk moves up GOP House agenda after IRS whistleblower revelations, Durham testimony

Impeachment frenzy got so intense last week that GOP Reps. Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene bickered publicly over impeaching President Biden.

Published: June 26, 2023 11:31pm

Updated: June 27, 2023 7:47am

The Republican House agenda has in recent weeks been dominated by impeachment resolutions following testimony from former special prosecutor John Durham on the Russian collusion probe and IRS whistleblower revelations about the Hunter Biden investigation – with calls ranging from ousting Attorney General Merrick Garland to expunging the two impeachments President Trump received.

In addition to Garland, whom critics say runs a "two-tiered" justice system in America, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is also a target – largely over his handling of record migration and its often overwhelming consequences from U.S. borders to the rest of the country. 

The impeachment frenzy got so intense last week that GOP Reps. Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene bickered on the House floor over competing resolutions to impeach President Biden.

More recently, House GOP conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik has asked the chamber's Republican leadership to expunge Trump's two impeachments, which ultimately resulted in Senate acquittal.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Sunday indicated that efforts are underway to at least consider impeaching Garland after the revelations in recent weeks.

“If the whistleblowers’ allegations are true, this will be a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland’s weaponization of DOJ," he said, following the House Ways and Means Committee last week releasing transcripts of the whistleblowers' interviews.

The IRS whistleblowers allege the Justice Department interfered with the Hunter Biden investigation at numerous stages. Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss led the probe, but the whistleblowers argue that it wasn't independently run.

Garland pushed back Friday against the whistleblower allegations.

"Mr. Weiss was appointed by President Trump," he said. "As the U.S. attorney in Delaware and assigned this matter during the previous administration, [he] would be permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to."

Durham's report and subsequent public testimony before a House panel last week on the FBI's handling of the Russia probe found that there wasn't enough evidence to open the investigation back in 2016. Durham's report also revealed multiple instances of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse, prompting calls for sweeping reform to the law prior to its reauthorization.

Republicans argue the Justice Department and the FBI haven't made sufficient internal changes to prevent the same situation from happening again.

The White House has slammed McCarthy for being open to impeaching Garland.

"Speaker McCarthy and the extreme House Republicans are proving they have no positive agenda to actually help the American people on the issues most important to them and their families," spokesman Ian Sams said Monday.

Mayorkas has long been the subject of possible impeachment over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Republicans argue he has failed to secure the border, given the record number of border crossings under the Biden administration.

Mayorkas continues to argue the border is secure, which Republicans have said demonstrates that he is out of touch with reality.

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs has introduced a resolution to impeach Mayorkas and Louisiana GOP Rep. Clay Higgins has also introduced his own impeachment resolution.

"The Founders intended that impeachment of a senior executive should require clear evidence of intentional, repeated unconstitutional or illegal actions that bring measurable injury to our Republic," Higgins said earlier this month. "Secretary Mayorkas has long ago crossed that threshold. His arrogant disregard for the security and sanctity of the American people has been shocking to behold."

Greene is also involved in efforts to get a House vote to formally expunge Trump's impeachments. Both Greene and Stefanik have introduced formal resolutions.

"The American people know Democrats weaponized the power of impeachment against President Donald Trump to advance their own extreme political agenda," Stefanik said. "President Donald Trump was rightfully acquitted, and it is past time to expunge Democrats’ sham smear against not only President Trump’s name, but against millions of patriots across the country."

McCarthy, who voted against both of Trump's impeachment cases, expressed support for Stefanik and Greene's resolutions on Friday.

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