House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy says that if his party wins back the majority in the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections, House Republicans wouldn't use impeachment as a political weapon against President Biden in 2023.
The Democratic majority in the House twice impeached President Trump – first in December 2019, charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and alleging that he had solicited foreign interference to help his 2020 reelection bid. He was impeached a second time in January of this year, accused of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters aiming to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory in last November’s election.
Both times, Trump was acquitted during Senate impeachment trials.
In an interview this week with Fox News, McCarthy once again charged that "the Democrats used impeachment for political reasons." And he emphasized that Republicans "think impeachment is so serious it should only be taken" as a most severe action.
But if the longtime congressman from California becomes House speaker in 2023, would he rule out impeachment?
"If Biden takes an illegal action, we would move impeachment," McCarthy told Fox News. "But we’re not going to move impeachment for political purposes."
McCarthy’s comments on impeachment came in a broader exclusive interview with Fox News on Tuesday, the second and final day of his "Gold Caucus Summit," a summer retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for high-dollar GOP donors, some top Republican leaders and former Trump administration officials, and appearances by some of the National Republican Congressional Committee's most high-profile 2022 candidate recruits.
His comments come as some voices on the far right are calling for the impeachment of the president over the Biden administration’s bungling of the evacuation of Americans and allies from Afghanistan after repressive Taliban forces quickly captured the capital city of Kabul following a long-planned U.S. military withdrawal from the war-torn central Asian country.