The Real Reason Republicans Authorized A Biden Impeachment Inquiry
Republicans are continuing Trump's 2019 plot to smear Biden as corrupt, so they can deflect from Trump's criminality. This projection is a classic authoritarian tactic, and forebodes worse to come.
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After House Republicans voted to authorize their baseless impeachment inquiry into President Biden, I published an article debunking the false narratives driving this inquiry and spotlighting that even Republicans are admitting they have no evidence implicating the president.
I think the why of this impeachment inquiry and the authoritarian tactics Republicans are using also requires a standalone piece. What they’re doing is transparently corrupt and echoes tactics they’ve used in the past and strategies exploited by authoritarians throughout history.
Republicans claim that the purpose of the impeachment inquiry is to find evidence of wrongdoing on the part of President Biden and to tie him to Hunter Biden’s business dealings. They claim that officially authorizing this inquiry gives them the legal firepower to uncover the evidence they need. But in reality, the motivation is more sinister.
Ahead of Wednesday’s impeachment inquiry vote, Republican Rep. Troy Nehls (TX) was asked what he hopes to gain from an impeachment inquiry. He responded by enthusiastically proclaiming the quiet part out loud:
“All I can say is Donald J. Trump 2024, baby.”
That comment speaks for itself. Donald Trump pressured House Republicans to launch an impeachment inquiry into Biden, and they’re delivering. This baseless impeachment inquiry is an obvious effort to damage President Biden ahead of the 2024 election. For Republicans, the inquiry itself is the point.
Just as Donald Trump tried to extort Ukraine to announce an investigation of Candidate Biden in 2019, House Republicans are opening a baseless impeachment inquiry into President Biden to project a false cloud of corruption they can exploit to deflect from Trump’s criminality.
In 2019, Trump was focused on pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to simply announce an investigation into then-candidate Joe Biden. Trump didn’t care about finding evidence of wrongdoing. He knew the mere announcement of an inquiry would give him the ammo he needed to falsely paint Joe Biden as corrupt.
What House Republicans are doing with their impeachment inquiry into Biden is continuing that exact same plot. They're even using the same Burisma conspiracy theories.
It’s an exercise in both sideism and false equivalency. Republicans believe if they project an aura of corruption onto President Biden, they can lessen the political impact of Donald Trump’s 91 criminal charges. They think if they can muddy the waters enough and accuse Biden of exactly what Trump and his family have been guilty of, then it will blunt the attacks on Trump.
“If everyone is corrupt, then why not vote for the corrupt guy who is fighting for you,” is the logic Trump implicitly sells to his base.
The weaponization of probes and corruption allegations is a classic authoritarian tactic used to project the autocrat’s own criminality onto their opponents. Trump has been doing a lot of this lately, referring to the Bidens as a “crime family” while he has been proven to be guilty of multiple frauds in the Trump Organization, Trump Foundation, and Trump University, not to mention the mountain of crimes Trump is currently being prosecuted for.
Republicans utilized this tactic when they targeted Hillary Clinton with the Benghazi hearings. Donald Trump utilized this tactic against Hillary Clinton with his false corruption allegations, accusing her of what he was guilty of. Now, with the help of his Republican sycophants, he’s doing the same thing to Joe Biden.
These tactics serve the purpose of Trump’s 2024 disinformation campaigns, but they also lay the foundation for the retribution administration Trump is promising in 2025 if he wins.
Why It’s Vital America Doesn’t Fall For This Con
This impeachment inquiry is a precursor of things to come if Trump wins re-election. If Americans reward this cynical ploy to paint Biden as corrupt, Trump will double down on this behavior if he wins the 2024 election.
Trump has vowed to weaponize the Justice Department against people he deems political threats. Trump plans to launch a DOJ investigation into the Biden family, prosecutors who have charged him, General Mark Milley, and others. Trump has falsely accused NBC of “illegal activity,” and his allies are promising journalists will be prosecuted. Trump has called his critics “vermin,” “traitors,” and depicted them as threats to America itself.
Trump is gearing up to punish his critics in a second term, and he’s openly promising to weaponize the justice system in order to do it.
This is a tried and true strategy by authoritarians throughout history. They equate themselves to the state and frame anyone who disagrees with them as a threat to the state itself - threats whose “entire existence will be crushed" (in the words of Trump’s spokesman).
German Dictator Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime used propaganda to demonize their political targets, particularly Jews, accusing them of corruption and being a threat to the German state.
Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini's fascist regime used the concept of the state being under siege as a pretext to suppress opposition, accusing opponents of being unpatriotic and conspiring against Italy.
Soviet Union Dictator Joseph Stalin's regime was notorious for its show trials and purges, where he accused political opponents and perceived threats of being "enemies of the state," often on fabricated charges of espionage or sabotage.
Russian President Vladimir Putin echoes these same tactics, targeting his political opponents as criminals and jailing them.
These comparisons are not hyperbole. The threat of a second Trump term is very real. Don’t believe me? Think this is just a biased take? Then, listen to the growing number of conservatives making these same warnings and comparisons.
What was once just a few people speaking out against Trump’s fascism has since become a bipartisan chorus of voices, including journalists. Former Rep. Liz Cheney, former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) are far from liberals, and they’ve spoken out. We even have former Speaker Paul Ryan recently calling Trump an “authoritarian narcissist.”
Americans should heed these warnings and perceive the House Republican impeachment sham as a sign of worse things to come if we elect Donald Trump.