McConnell Says Impeachment ‘Ought To Be Rare’ As Biden Inquiry Looms
.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media following the weekly policy luncheons at the U.S. Capitol on June 21, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) cautioned against the regular use of the impeachment process as House Republicans float an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.

The top Republican lawmaker was quoted in a New York Times report published on Tuesday that explores how impeachment and censures have become the “norm” in Congress.

“Impeachment ought to be rare,” McConnell said. He also observed, “This is not good for the country.”

The GOP-led House may be headed toward initiating an impeachment inquiry against Biden, possibly as early as the fall, spurred by concerns about a pattern of millions of dollars flowing from foreign nationals under suspicious circumstances. House Republicans have previously introduced articles of impeachment against Biden focused on other issues, including the border, though these efforts have not gained as much traction.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said last month that an ongoing examination of the Biden family’s finances is “rising to the level” of an impeachment inquiry. In a Fox News interview on Monday night, McCarthy said an impeachment inquiry “empowers Congress — Republicans and Democrats — within their subpoena to be able to get the answers they need.”

Although some of McCarthy’s Republican colleagues in Congress, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), have voiced support for an impeachment inquiry into Biden, others have been more reticent. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in an interview with host Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business late last month that “if there’s going to be impeachment, let’s have quite a bit of evidence out there [so] that the American people are actually behind this.”

Democrats have been broadly dismissive of the GOP push for impeachment, which comes as the 2024 presidential campaign cycle heats up, while Biden himself has called the allegations of corruption “a bunch of malarkey.”

Impeachment inquiries and trials in the House and Senate, respectively, have been conducted occasionally since the 1700s, targeting mainly judges and, to a lesser extent, presidents over the years for alleged high crimes and misdemeanors that could result in officials being removed from office and disqualified from holding office in the future.


While articles of impeachment can be approved in the House by a simple majority vote, in the Senate — narrowly controlled by the Democrats at the moment — a two-thirds vote is needed to convict. In the current session of Congress, some Democrat votes in the Senate would be needed to convict Biden on any articles of impeachment.

In the 21st Century, there have only been four federal impeachment cases, half of which took aim at the last president. The House, then led by the Democrats, impeached former President Donald Trump twice while he was in office: once for allegedly abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress over his dealings with Ukraine, and a second time for “incitement of insurrection” following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Both times the GOP-controlled Senate acquitted Trump.

“I said two years ago, when we had not one but two impeachments, that once we go down this path it incentivizes the other side to do the same thing,” McConnell said, according to the new report.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was House speaker during the Trump impeachment cases, dismissed suggestions by her GOP colleagues that another inquiry is needed for Biden.

“I’m so proud of the Democrats in the Congress, we fully intend to take back the House next time so we don’t have to deal with the frivolity, the waste of time of the Congress for them to go down this path,” she said in an MSNBC interview over the weekend.

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