Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she is not surprised GOP voters have little confidence Republican lawmakers will hold senior Biden administration officials accountable for not cooperating with House investigations.
And she’s warning her colleagues that voters won’t forgive them for being all talk and no action.
“There’s a lot of people that believe that the Republicans actually have to put up or shut up,” Ms. Greene told The Washington Times in an interview. “We don’t want that reputation anymore with the people where they go, ‘Oh, yeah, they’re just saying this, but they’re not going to do anything about it.’ That’s something that our conference needs to fix. And we need to fix it going into 2024.”
The Georgia Republican said she is constantly pressing her colleagues to take a tougher approach with the administration.
“That’s something I’m urging all the time. I keep saying, ‘Why would [voters] elect us if we just allow this to continue?’ I urge my conference, ‘Why would they vote for us?’” she said.
Republicans have threatened articles of impeachment, contempt charges and call for the resignation of senior-level Biden administration officials, including the impeachment of President Biden himself. Among the top officials targeted by House Republicans are Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
But a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports showed that less than a third of voters expect Congress, which the GOP controls a slim House majority, to impeach Mr. Biden, even though most voters in the survey suspect he has committed impeachable offenses as president.
Only 28% of voters think it is likely that Congress will go forward with impeachment proceedings against Mr. Biden, including 11% who say it is “very likely.” In the poll, 66% of respondents said they do not think it is likely Congress will pursue impeachment, including 37% who say impeachment is “not at all likely.”
The survey of 996 likely voters was conducted on May 11 and 14-15. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.
Ms. Greene, a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, filed several articles of impeachment against the president before Republicans won the House majority in November.
Republicans are using the threats of contempt and impeachment to obtain documents that they say senior officials refuse to release for congressional investigations ranging from Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals to the administration’s chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021.
House Democrats deployed similar pressure tactics when they held the majority in the last Congress. They subpoenaed former Trump administration officials, including Stephen K. Bannon, Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino. The Justice Department accepted House Democrats’ recommendation to charge Bannon and Mr. Navarro with contempt for refusing to cooperate with the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 committee.
GOP lawmakers, including Ms. Greene and Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, would also like to see Mr. Garland impeached for, among other things, his allegedly “reckless and corrosive politicization of the Department of Justice.” Republicans have brought up articles of impeachment against him since the last Congress.
Republicans have also called for the impeachment of Mr. Mayorkas over his inability to maintain “operational control of the border” and for releasing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the interior of the U.S.
Despite the skyrocketing fentanyl crisis and a flood of migrants entering small towns and cities across the country, the drive for his impeachment lost steam. Not enough GOP lawmakers were willing to support the measure.
According to Ms. Greene, though, Mr. Mayorkas’ tenure “is not looking good.”
“Impeachment is definitely looming for him. We’re only short a few votes to get that one done,” she said.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, Kentucky Republican, has said he is prepared to move forward on contempt proceedings against FBI Director Christopher A. Wray over failing to comply with a subpoena for an FD-1023 form that could allegedly implicate the president and his son Hunter Biden in a $5 million foreign bribery scheme.
“It is very concerning. And they’re trying to make the excuses that it’s for the protection of the American people,” Ms. Greene said. “What is he protecting the American people from? The truth? I think that’s really what we’re looking at here.”
Sometimes, though, holding a contempt measure over an official’s head can get lawmakers what they want.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also a top senior official that a GOP lawmaker had threatened with a contempt of Congress measure.
Over two weeks ago, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, Texas Republican, said he planned to hold Mr. Blinken in contempt if he did not turn over a classified cable, reportedly cautioning that Kabul could collapse immediately after the August 2021 U.S. withdrawal.
One week later, Mr. McCaul paused this threat after the State Department allowed Mr. McCaul and ranking member Gregory Meeks, New York Democrat, to see the cable “in camera” with the names of the officials who authored the messages redacted.
But Mr. Blinken is not out of the woods yet.
Republican lawmakers still want to know about his alleged involvement related to the 51 intelligence community members who signed a letter in October 2020 claiming that the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop had the “earmarks” of Russian disinformation.
“Antony Blinken led 51 members of the intel community to sign their name to a lie. That’s election interference. So, he needs to be held accountable,” Ms. Greene said.
Mr. Blinken has said the letter “wasn’t my idea” and that he “didn’t solicit it.”
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