Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Wednesday shot down calls from within his own party to try to impeach President Biden, pointing to next year’s midterm election as a potential check on the administration.
“Well, look, the president is not going to be removed from office. There’s a Democratic House, a narrowly Democratic Senate. That’s not going to happen,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky, asked if Biden’s handling of the drawdown in Afghanistan merits impeachment and if he would support it.
“There isn’t going to be an impeachment,” he added.
McConnell’s comments come as some Republicans in the House and Senate call for Biden’s impeachment or for him to resign or be involuntarily removed from office over the botched Afghanistan exit.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said last week that he thought Biden should be impeached. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who chairs the Senate GOP campaign arm, questioned if it was time to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows the majority of the Cabinet or a body appointed by the Congress to remove a president.
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) both called for Biden to resign and House conservatives, including some of former President Trump‘s biggest allies, have called for Biden to be impeached.
McConnell’s comments aren’t the first time he’s pushed back on impeachment calls. Asked late last month if he agreed with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who filed three impeachment articles, that Biden should be impeached, McConnell told a Kentucky TV station: “No.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has also stopped short of embracing impeachment calls, while predicting that a GOP-controlled House would probe Biden’s Afghanistan exit and that there would be a “day of reckoning.”
After Democrats twice impeached Trump, first in 2020 for abuse of power in his dealings with Ukraine and again in 2021 for inciting an insurrection after a mob of his supporters breached the Capitol, GOP strategists have predicted that Biden is likely to face impeachment calls if Republicans take back the House next year.
If a GOP-controlled House were to impeach Biden, it could eat up precious floor time in the Senate where trials typically take weeks and grind all other business to a halt. No president has been formally found guilty at the end of a Senate trial.
McConnell, instead of looking ahead to 2023, pointed to the midterm elections, where Republicans are feeling increasingly bullish about the chances of winning back the House or Senate, as an opportunity to hold Biden accountable.
“The report card you get is every two years,” McConnell said. “I think the way these behaviors get adjusted in this country is at the ballot box.”
To win back the House, Republicans need to pick up a handful of seats and need a net gain of just one seat to flip the Senate.
“I do think we’re likely to see a typical kind of midterm reaction to a new administration. … Typically there is some buyer’s remorse,” he said.
Via The Hill