After January 6, 2021, many people believed Donald Trump was the worst president in history. Trump was even impeached just as he was ready to leave the White House after losing the election. Why is President Joe Biden facing impeachment?
Several House Republicans have filed articles of impeachment against Biden, alleging that he failed in Afghanistan and at the border, and that he abused his power by extending a COVID-19 pandemic-associated freeze on evictions. They also believe his Homeland Security official Alejandro Mayorkas is just as culpable.
What is the impeachment process?
The impeachment process is a three-step procedure at the federal level:
- First, Congress conducts an investigation. The inquiry is usually initiated by the House Judiciary Committee, although it might originate elsewhere.
- Second, the House of Representatives must approve articles of impeachment, which contain official allegations, by a simple majority of those present and voting.
- Third, the Senate conducts the trial. In order to be convicted in the Senate, a two-thirds supermajority of those present must agree. If convicted, the impeached official would be removed from office. In certain cases, the Senate has also disqualified such officials from holding any federal office in the future.
Who gets impeached?
The Constitution empowers Congress to impeach and remove the president, vice president, and all U.S. civil officers if they believe such officers have committed serious crimes or misdemeanors. The Constitution doesn’t specify who qualifies as a civil officer. Federal judges and any presidentially appointed “principal officer,” such as secretary, administrator, or commissioner, are subject to impeachment. Members of Congress (senators and representatives) aren’t subject to impeachment.
How many U.S. presidents have been impeached?
Three U.S. presidents have been officially impeached by Congress — Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump.
Trump faced two articles of impeachment.
On December 18, 2019, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on two articles of impeachment, one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of justice, regarding his alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine's president. On January 13, 2021, the House voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” in connection to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a violent crowd.
Republicans have filed articles of impeachment against Joe Biden.
In September 2021, four Republicans filed articles of impeachment against Biden on issues such as the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, border security, and the eviction moratorium. Texas Republicans Brian Babin and Randy Weber both advocated for the impeachment, led by Bob Gibbs of Ohio and Andy Biggs of Arizona. Their proposal is similar to the impeachment resolutions pushed by Republican Marjorie Taylor Green.
There have been a growing number of calls to impeach Biden for his poorly handled withdrawal from Afghanistan, which left 13 American military personal dead and several injured. Biden blamed Trump and Afghanistan security officials for moves that resulted in the Taliban taking control of the nation.
Will Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas be impeached?
It’s unlikely that the House of Representatives will pass the articles of impeachment against Biden because both the House and Senate are Democrat-controlled. Also, none of the problems highlighted in the articles meet the typical criteria for impeachable offenses.
After House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came under fire for leaked audio recordings, he attempted to shift the attention to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. According to The Hill, McCarthy insinuated that if the GOP takes control of the House that Mayorkas should be concerned about impeachment. The issue surrounds Title 42. McCarthy said, "His first response to us should be, 'We should not lift Title 42.''
"Your failure to secure the border and enforce the laws passed by Congress raises grave questions about your suitability for office," read a letter to Mayorkas from GOP House members. Until House Republicans are able to gain control, the odds of Biden and Mayorkas being impeached are slim. On April 27, Mayorkas faced the House Appropriation Subcommittee. Next, he'll go before House Homeland Security Committee and the House Judiciary Committee this week.