Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a newly elected Republican member from Georgia who promised yesterday: “On January 21, 2021, I will file impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden for abuse of power.” That’s exactly what I blamed Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s inaugural election and for repeatedly filing impeachment suits for acts ranging from his criticism of NFL knees to his inflammatory tweets. It was wrong for them, and it is wrong for Greene and any other Republican who wants to engage in this type of retaliation.
Green explained that “It’s time to take a stand,” she said. “I’m proud to be the voice of Republican voters who have been ignored.”
However, as I often point out in testimony in Congress, how you do something is as important to our constitutional system as what you do. Impeachment should not be a recreational or retaliatory tool for the opposition. I saw this second impeachment as justified but poorly executed. There was an attack on Congress and Trump bore great responsibility for this shameful incident. My opposition to Trump’s second impeachment process was mainly through using a quick impeachment process with no hearing or ability to change language. I also had serious concerns about the language of the article, while realizing that Trump’s overall behavior could rightly be considered incontestable. I think the House could have given a hearing and an opportunity to consider the implications of the language, which I think is too broad. In the end, the language received only 10 Republican votes. A bespoke article could have garnered even more votes, and a motion of censure could have secured a majority from both parties.
Greene suggested that her impeachment could be based on Biden’s controversial panel discussion in the Council on Foreign Relations, where he spoke about how he urged Ukrainian officials to dismiss Viktor Shokin, the country’s prosecutor, in 2015 when he was vice president.
There is still no evidence that Biden took these measures for the benefit or protection of his son or any family business.
Promising impeachment, especially after this painful week, is neither helpful nor responsible. It is constitutionally and politically wrong. What I said in 2017 in view of the democratic demands for impeachment continues to this day:
“History has already answered this impeachment call. The Framers saw the great abuses caused not only by the tyranny of the nobility but also by the tyranny of the majority. They tried to isolate our government from the temporary impulses of politics. Otherwise, impeachment becomes little more than an opportunistic excuse for impeachment, like so many “straws” in the political wind. “