Skip to content
Sign up to receive our free weekday morning edition, and you'll never miss a scoop.
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee James Comer

Impeachment agenda recedes from the limelight

With the House Republican Conference consumed by internal strife, the party’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden has firmly taken a back seat.

The impeachment inquiry’s first hearing on Sept. 28 feels like a lifetime ago. That was when Kevin McCarthy was still speaker, for one.

Over the ensuing two weeks, McCarthy’s ouster by his own party and the subsequent GOP failure to elect a speaker has sucked all the oxygen out of what was once a major centerpiece of the House Republican agenda.

Notably, neither House Majority Leader Steve Scalise nor Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) mentioned the impeachment inquiry in their candidate announcement letters last week.

The closest that Jordan — the Judiciary Committee chair and a key player in the inquiry — came to mentioning the conference’s marquee investigation was a vague reference to “doing the oversight and holding the Administration accountable.”

To be clear, Jordan has previously committed to continuing the impeachment inquiry if elected speaker. But the inquiry is evidently not one of the driving issues for House Republicans looking to select their next leader.

Flash black a month ago: The landscape was markedly different. Staring down an impending right-wing revolt, McCarthy launched the inquiry in part to stave off growing unrest in his conference. But in the end, the move had little impact on the eight GOP lawmakers who voted to oust him.

An underwhelming first hearing in the House Oversight Committee didn’t help. Many Republicans were frustrated that a GOP witness publicly disagreed with the House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer’s (R-Ky.) assertion that there’s currently enough evidence to impeach Biden.

Comer insisted his panel is still chugging along as it examines whether the president was improperly involved in the overseas business dealings of his family. To date, Republicans haven’t uncovered evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.

Blink and you miss it: Thursday was the deadline for major subpoenas aimed at obtaining the personal and business bank records of Hunter and James Biden — the president’s son and brother. But, of course, no one was even talking about that yesterday.

The Oversight Committee is in communication with the relevant banks, who are cooperating with the subpoenas, spokesperson Jessica Collins told us.

“You’ll be the first to know,” Comer told us Thursday when we asked if he had any update on the subpoenas. “I’m sure Jamie Raskin will call you. He’ll say there’s nothing in there!”

We asked whether Comer was concerned that the internal Republican fight over who will be speaker was distracting from or impeding the inquiry.

“I’m not doing this to entertain you guys,” Comer said. “We’re just following the money.”

“Today, the American people and an increasing number of House Republicans are realizing that this impeachment drive is a sham demanded by President Trump that is based on distorted facts, debunked claims, and discredited lies and is devoid of any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden,” Oversight Democratic spokesperson Joseph Costello said in a statement.

— Max Cohen

Presented by The Coalition to Project American Jobs

It’s taking the IRS years to process a small business tax credit. 1M+ small business owners who filed for the Employee Retention Credit are stuck in backlog or waiting on payment for their claims. Tell the IRS to lift the moratorium now.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.