Yesterday morning, in a desperate bid to keep his gavel, Speaker McCarthy directed three committees, including the House Judiciary Committee, to begin an impeachment query.
As Philip Bump laid out, only one of McCarthy’s justifications for impeachment — that Biden knew more about his son’s business than he stated publicly (but not under oath) — has been substantiated; several of the rest have no basis in fact.
More importantly, just one relates to Biden’s current term as President: the allegation that his Administration has interfered in the investigation into his son. When Bump wrote his column, he noted that David Weiss — the Trump appointed US Attorney whom Biden retained precisely to give independence to the investigation — had disputed the claim.
“Finally, despite these serious allegations,” McCarthy continued, “it appears that the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration, treatment that not otherwise would have received if they were not related to the president.”
This allegation does have one advantage over the preceding four: It’s actually related to Biden’s time in office as president.
The suggestion here is that the handling of Hunter Biden’s tax and gun case was unfairly lenient, thanks to pressure from the Justice Department. This was alleged by whistleblowers from the IRS who offered testimony in front of Congress. The U.S. attorney leading the Hunter Biden investigation, David Weiss, disputed the allegations.
Only, according to a report from the WaPo, by the time McCarthy made this allegation, it had been even further debunked.
Last Thursday, FBI’s Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Thomas Sobocinski appeared before the House Judiciary Committee. He testified that his memory of a key October 7 meeting conflicts with claims that purported whistleblower Gary Shapley made about the meeting.
Shapley said Weiss told FBI and IRS agents during that meeting that Weiss was not the “deciding official on whether charges are filed.” But Sobocinski, who was also there, said he did not hear Weiss say that and “never felt that [Weiss] needed approval” to bring charges.
Sobocinski, who is the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office, noted there was “bureaucratic administrative process” Weiss had to work through to bring charges outside Delaware but that his understanding was “that [Weiss] had the authority to bring whatever he needed to do.”
“I never thought that anybody was there above David Weiss to say no,” he said.
Pressed again on the issue later in the interview, he said, “I went into that meeting believing he had the authority, and I have left that meeting believing he had the authority to bring charges.”
Gary Shapley’s claims of politicization have been debunked twice now. The key claim of favoritism at the core of impeachment keeps crumbling.
Jim Jordan, at least, knew all this before McCarthy’s impeachment decision.
And yet McCarthy went forward anyway, with even less basis for the inquiry.