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A couple of dozen lawyers, legislative aides, and communications staffers have been brought together as part of a “war room” to fight against GOP investigations, according to multiple reports in recent days. Though the construction of Biden’s defense effort has been underway since Republicans took over control of the House early this year, the new reports from POLITICO and NBC News about its growing roster emerged after some lawmakers signaled that the impeachment process could soon begin and as the 2024 election cycle heats up.
Biden’s team includes defense attorney Richard Sauber; Russ Anello, former staff director of the House Oversight Committee; and former Building Back Together spokeswoman Sharon Yang. The endeavor will also have incoming White House counsel Ed Siskel, who has experience dealing with GOP investigations ranging from the Benghazi probe to the Solyndra inquiry.
Already, White House spokesman Ian Sams has been busy firing off pointed retorts against Republicans who have been speaking out in favor of impeachment. In response to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) warning that she would not vote to continue funding the government unless certain demands are met, including when it comes to impeachment, Sams claimed her comments revealed the impeachment push is a “partisan stunt driven by the most extreme, far-right members.”
Across committee-level investigations, House Republicans have uncovered a pattern of millions of dollars flowing from foreign nationals to members of Biden’s family, raising concerns about bribery and influence peddling. Biden has dismissed the allegations of corruption as a “bunch of malarkey” while his Democrat allies in Congress have been more focused on drawing attention to charges against Donald Trump. Both Biden and Trump are seeking a second presidential term.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently told Breitbart News that the House moving forward with an impeachment inquiry would be done with a floor vote, which would require a simple majority — a contrast to how former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unilaterally announced the first impeachment effort against former President Trump.
But such an endeavor faces some headwinds while McCarthy has to contend with a rules package that allows just one member to bring a “motion to vacate” that could lead to a vote to remove the speaker.
A formal vote to launch an inquiry could prove fatal to the cause as a sufficient number of GOP lawmakers who are vulnerable in upcoming elections may balk at the opportunity, while Democrats are likely to rally behind Biden. On McCarthy’s other flank is the House Freedom Caucus — where a prominent member, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), warned on Saturday that “hiding” behind impeachment would not bode well if the “status quo” on spending is not addressed while a deadline to fund various arms of the government looms at the end of September.
As it stands now, a slim majority of voters — 52%— oppose impeaching Biden, while 41% support it, according to a Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday. Even if there were a successful vote to begin an inquiry, other hurdles would come into play when it comes to the House approving potential articles of impeachment and then reaching the two-thirds vote threshold to convict in a Senate controlled by the Democrats.
Still, McCarthy told Fox News that the American public “deserves” to know if the Biden family has become steeped in a “culture of corruption.” An impeachment inquiry would provide Congress “the apex of legal power to get all the information they need,” he added.