Gaetz said that even if the House impeaches Biden, there’s little chance the Democratic-controlled Senate would convict and remove the president from office.
“The purpose of that impeachment, from my standpoint, is not to force a vote that loses ― it’s to put on a trial in the Senate, and by the way, not for the sake of conviction,” Gaetz said during a live audio interview on Twitter.
“The purpose of the impeachment to me is to use the Senate as the stage, but they’re not the jury. The jury is the American people,” Gaetz continued. “And if we had the Senate as the stage and the platform for James Comer to put on his evidence and advance this impeachment, it will not result in a conviction, but the true verdict can still be rendered by the American people.”
In other words, a Biden impeachment would be less about Congress fulfilling its constitutional duty than ensuring Biden loses the next election because Gaetz assumes the evidence wouldn’t convince Senate Democrats to vote to convict. (Bipartisan Senate guilty votes are not impossible to achieve; seven Senate Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict Donald Trump for the 2021 insurrection.)
House Oversight Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) has overseen Republicans’ investigation into the Biden family and has sought to connect the president to his son Hunter Biden’s income from foreign nationals. So far, witness testimony and bank records haven’t established such a connection.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said the House will open an impeachment inquiry against the president, though McCarthy has emphasized that the inquiry would not necessarily lead to actual impeachment. Instead, he described it as a way to bolster Comer’s investigation since executive branch agencies and courts would likely be more willing to accommodate congressional requests for information if the House threatens impeachment.
Right-wing Republicans have been clamoring for impeachment, while moderates have seemed skeptical. Gaetz, one of the most far-right members of the House GOP conference, suggested he thinks McCarthy’s staking out a weak position.
“When we talk about it like, ‘Oh, well, if we have an inquiry, then we can get more evidence,’ what you’re saying implicitly in that is that you don’t feel like you have sufficient evidence now,” Gaetz said.
Democrats have skewered Comer for taking credit for Joe Biden’s sagging poll numbers. On Wednesday, the Democratic staff on his committee blasted his Biden probe as a deliberate effort to distract attention from Trump’s various criminal indictments.
A spokesperson for the Oversight Committee said that the committee has “produced concrete evidence through bank records and witness testimony that reveals Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s corrupt influence peddling schemes.”
So far, the “involvement” Republicans have established amounts to occasional phone conversations about the weather that Republicans insist are inherently corrupt. Democrats describe the younger Biden making money off his name as unsavory but not corrupt.
A former business partner named Devon Archer told the committee that Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone in the presence of foreign investors as if to show off his “brand” as someone with Washington connections; Archer also said the conversations weren’t about business and that he didn’t witness Joe Biden do his son any official favors.
“I think you have to understand that there was no business conversation about a cap table or a fee or anything like that,” Archer said. “It was, you know, just general niceties and, you know, conversation in general, you know, about the geography, about the weather, whatever it may be.”