Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, gave some direction to the GOP voters this week. He made it clear that President Joe Biden would not be impeached or removed from office over his disastrous handling of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal. This is in spite of the efforts by House Republicans to begin impeachment proceedings.
McConnell said that instead Americans should hold the president accountable at the “ballot box” in the 2022 midterm and 2024 presidential elections.
The truth is that the Senate Minority Leader was just stating the obvious. Because the GOP does not control both the House and the Senate, in order to impeach the president over the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Republicans would need to organize impeachment hearings in the Democratic-controlled House. They would then need to win a trial in the Senate which is split by parties 50-50 and the vice president would cast the deciding vote. This is not something Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris would do no matter who much she longs to sit behind that desk in the oval office.
“Well, look the president is not going to be removed from office,” McConnell conceded according to The Wall Street Journal. “I think the way these behaviors get adjusted in this country is at the ballot box,” he said. “There isn’t going to be an impeachment.”
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 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.
The calls for Biden’s impeachment increased after a report that the president spoke with the then-Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in July. He urged Ghani to correct what Biden called a “perception problem” in world media that the Taliban was gaining ground in Afghanistan.
The president said, “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
It was just a matter of weeks later that the Taliban stormed into Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, and the sitting president went on the run abandoning his country to the Taliban terrorists.
Many are saying that because of Biden’s dialogue with Ghani, he knew in July that the Afghan army was not doing well in the fight against the Taliban. The fall of Kabul could have been predicted at that time. But the White House administration has repeatedly claimed that the Taliban’s surge into Kabul was unforeseeable. They claim that the mad scramble to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghan allies and their families was unavoidable. This led to the deaths of 13 U.S. servicemembers serving in the botched withdrawal.
And as a result of the chaos and shortened timeline, there are still about 200 Americans who remain in Afghanistan, trapped behind enemy lines.
It was all congratulations in the president’s speech on Tuesday. Biden praised his administration for a job well done in Afghanistan before laying the blame for the bungled withdrawal at the feet of President Trump’s administration.