Due to the fact that the House of Representatives has been without a Speaker since October 3, 2023, there has been a complete stoppage of business on the House floor. Fortunately, some of the Committees working on impeachment have been moving along — albeit slowly.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) has just written Special Counsel Robert Hur to request access to the classified documents taken home by Biden when he was Vice President. Hur was named in January 2023 to investigate President Biden’s handling of classified records, but like other Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointees, appears to be in no rush. Mr. Comer wants to see if the classified documents in Hur’s possession could relate to Biden’s selling of influence to certain other countries. There is no reason to believe Hur will cooperate. Whenever Hur is mentioned in the press, he is described as an appointee of President Trump, but Hur was a key aide to two of DOJ’s most aggressive anti-Trumpers — Chris Wray and Rod Rosenstein. Don’t expect much from this “Republican” Department of Justice lawyer.
By any standard, the impeachment investigation is moving slowly simply because many old-line Republicans oppose impeachment. Republicans can afford to lose support from only four House Republicans, but at the moment, there are eight known holdouts — from eight different states.
So, who are those “Republican” Congressmen refusing to hold Biden accountable?
1. The most outspoken member is Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who once had a reputation as a conservative. But since Biden’s election, Buck has begun to cozy up to the Administration. Buck, a former federal prosecutor, has a “good relationship” with Biden’s weaponized Attorney General Garland, who recently joined Buck at an event in his district. Buck also voted to certify Biden’s 2020 election, and demanded that Colorado Republicans “trust the system,” despite the myriad of state election laws broken in the 2020 election. Conservatives in Buck’s district are furious, and several, including state Rep. Richard Holtorf, have begun considering primary challenges to Buck in 2024. “Right now it appears that it’s about time for Ken Buck to pack his suitcase, just like Liz Cheney,” Holtorf said.
2. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) is a mostly pro-abortion and anti-gun “moderate” who has opposed impeachment. “I will tell you, every time we walk the plank, we are putting moderate members, members [in Biden-won districts]. We are putting those seats at risk for 2024. We are putting the majority at risk. And it’s not just impeachment that does that. Other issues, like abortion, et cetera, also put those members on the plank,” Mace said in July.
3. Another Biden apologist is Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), who stubbornly claims he is “not seeing facts or evidence” to support impeachment. Like Buck, Joyce opposes the conservative position on other issues as well, finding the prospect of a temporary so-called “government shutdown” a greater threat than a $30 trillion national debt. “You hear a lot of rumor and innuendo … but that’s not fact to me,” Joyce said.
4. Another dissenter is Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) who argues there is not enough “concrete evidence” and stated that McCarthy “is going to have to sell us” on impeachment.
5. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said during the Trump impeachment that impeachment is “a constitutional nuclear option of last resort,” and he doesn’t appear to have changed his mind now, stating that “we’re converting into essentially a vote of no confidence [like] in the British Parliament. And I don’t want to see our country go down that path.”
7. Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX) also demurred. “Impeachment is going to suck all the oxygen out of this place.… The people back at home in my district are worried about … real issues.”
8. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) told CNN in September: “There is a constitutional and legal test that you have to meet with evidence.” “I have not seen that evidence.”
On the other side of Capitol Hill, not surprisingly, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who seems content to be a permanent Minority Leader, has warned House Republicans, “Impeachment ought to be rare. This is not good for the country.” McConnell, of course, led 18 Senate Republicans to join Democrats in passing the bloated 2022 “omnibus” bill, adding $1.7 trillion to a $30 trillion national debt. Several other Senate Republicans echoed McConnell’s dodge. Impeachment “should generally be avoided for the interest of the country,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). “It can’t become routine.” Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) has said she “does not believe there’s enough evidence” to impeach.
Meanwhile, former President Trump is calling for primary challenges to House Republicans who refuse to impeach Biden. “The biggest complaint I get … is that the Republicans find out this information and then they do nothing about it,” he said. The filing deadlines for 2024 Congressional primaries are just a few months away in many states and challengers to these weak “Republicans” are emerging. As President Reagan said about incumbents — “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
Editor’s Note: To read the articles in this series, please click here.