OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
House Speaker Mike Johnson provided an update on a potential timeline for impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden that won’t make Democrats very happy.
The Louisiana Republican was asked during a Thursday press conference if he believes GOP-run committees have uncovered enough evidence to justify impeaching Biden, to which he responded, “I do believe that very soon we are coming to a point of decision on it.”
Later, he added, “We’re going to follow the evidence where it leads, and we’ll see, and I’m not going to pre-determine it this morning.”
Johnson, who has a background in constitutional law, went on to emphasize the importance of due process, The Hill reported.
“I have been very consistent, intellectually consistent in this, and persistent that we have to follow due process and the law,” he said. “That means following our obligation on the Constitution and doing appropriate investigations in the right way at the right pace so that the evidence comes in and we follow the evidence where it leads. You follow the truth where it leads.”
Last week, the newly elected Speaker laid out his priorities for the next 100 days, and ensuring that the impeachment inquiry into Biden continues was one of them.
“It is ‘very likely’ that President Biden has committed impeachable offenses, according to Speaker Mike Johnson, who was elected to the office on Wednesday,” Newsweek reported on Saturday.
Then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) authorized a former impeachment inquiry into Biden in September, as a number of GOP-led House panels began honing in on whether the president was ever influenced by the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden, and his brother, James Biden. Witnesses have testified before the committees that both James and Hunter were “selling” the “Biden brand” to foreign government and business interests, leading Republicans to suggest that the president now could be compromised.
McCarthy said the president faced “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption,” warranting further investigation.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity — his first after being elected Speaker — Johnson suggested that Biden has committed impeachable offenses but said then as well that he planned to allow due process to play out.
“The reason we shifted to the impeachment inquiry stage on the president himself was because if, in fact, all the evidence leads to where we believe it will, that’s very likely impeachable offenses,” he said.
“That’s listed as a cause for impeachment in the Constitution — bribery and other crimes and misdemeanors. Bribery’s listed there, and it looks and smells a lot like that. We’re going to follow the truth wherever it leads. We’re going to engage in due process because, again, we’re the rule of law party,” Johnson added.
“I know people are getting anxious, and they’re getting restless, and they just want somebody to be impeached, but we don’t do that like the other team. We have to base it on the evidence,” Johnson said.
Following last month’s attack by Hamas terrorists, the Speaker also discussed a measure giving Israel billions in aid.
Johnson said that the House is getting ready to present a $14.5 billion support bill for Israel, slightly more than what Israel has reportedly asked for through the White House.
The House appropriation, on the other hand, differs significantly from other forms of federal support in that it will be provided in exchange for “pay-fors” in the budget rather than through the simple printing of money.
Johnson explained that the sum is a “very specific number tied to very specific measures” and that every additional dollar would have to be made up for by a decrease in spending somewhere else.
Johnson claimed that he had reminded Biden’s staff during a meeting at the White House on Thursday that, given Israel’s struggle to survive against Iran-backed Hamas, they have little power to respond directly without congressional approval.