White House: Johnson ‘throwing red meat’ to Greene by pushing House vote on Biden impeachment inquiry

The White House argued Monday that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is giving into Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and other far-right members of the House Republican caucus because he now wants a vote on an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

The White House pointed to reporting from The Washington Post last month that said Johnson “indicated that there is insufficient evidence at the moment to initiate formal impeachment proceedings.” Johnson then called a vote on impeachment “a necessary step” during an interview Saturday on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”

“Under fire for expelling George Santos, Speaker Johnson is throwing red meat to Marjorie Taylor Greene and the far right flank of the House GOP by pushing a full House vote on this illegitimate impeachment stunt. He admitted there is no evidence to justify it three weeks ago, but he’s doing it anyway — further proof that this whole exercise is an extreme political stunt, rather than a legitimate pursuit of the truth,” White House spokesperson for oversight Ian Sams said in a statement.

House Republicans have been weighing whether to shore up their impeachment inquiry by taking a formal vote on the matter. Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) kicked off the impeachment process without a House vote, a move the White House has blasted, arguing it gives the inquiry no constitutional legitimacy.

“This baseless smear campaign is solely intended to satisfy their most extreme members and proves once again that these House Republicans are wasting time on the wrong priorities, instead of working with the President on real issues American families care about, like lowering costs, creating jobs, strengthening health care, and protecting our national security,” Sams said.

Throughout the impeachment investigations, led by Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), House Republicans have alleged that Biden and his family accepted money from foreign interests in suspicious business deals. None of the evidence presented by the committee so far has implicated the president.

Johnson this weekend also claimed that the investigation has been stonewalled by the White House, a claim that Sams pushed back on recently.

Sams argued that the White House has sent letters to Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), offering to meet or talk further, “yet Comer and Jordan have repeatedly refused to engage.” And, he noted that the president’s son, Hunter Biden, has offered to provide testimony; last week, the younger Biden offered to testify publicly.

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