Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas.
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- Ted Cruz says House Republicans will face pressure to impeach Biden
- Democrats “weaponized” impeachment when Trump was in office, Cruz says
- The actual history of impeachment is quite partisan.
On his podcast last week, Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, said “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” arguing that House Republicans have every right to impeach President Joe Biden after former President Donald Trump’s two impeachments.
“I do think there’s a chance of [impeachment] … whether it’s justified or not,” Cruz said on the podcast, Verdict with Ted Cruz. “The Democrats weaponized impeachment. They used it for partisan purposes to go after Trump because they disagreed with him and one of the real disadvantages of doing that is … the more you weaponize it and turn it into a partisan cudgel, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
A president can be impeached by a simple majority in the House. Republicans need to gain a net majority of five seats this November to retake the House, which would be in line with historical trends for midterm elections. It still takes 2/3rds of senators to convict and remove a president from office, which is very unlikely to occur.
Cruz is far from the first Republican to openly muse about retribution if an expected red wave crests later this year. Insider extensively documented how Republicans are planning to grill the Biden administration and possibly consider impeachment if they retake one or both houses of Congress.
As for what charges Biden might potentially face, Cruz mentioned Biden’s immigration policies as “the strongest ground for impeachment.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia filed impeachment articles the day after Biden’s inauguration, citing his conduct as vice president. Many of her claims were debunked during Trump’s first impeachment trial.
Contrary to Cruz’s point, the history of modern impeachments has been largely partisan — mostly due to the very low bar that it takes to file articles of impeachment. Lawmakers have filed articles of impeachment against every president since Ronald Reagan. Most of these efforts were viewed as longshots from the start. President Bill Clinton is the only other modern president to face a Senate impeachment trial.
Trump’s impeachments also featured a historic level of bipartisanship. This began with Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict him during his first impeachment related to his efforts to strongarm Ukraine to benefit his re-election campaign and ended with his second impeachment for inciting the January 6 insurrection. Ten House Republicans voted to impeach Trump last January and seven senators later voted to convict. In both cases, Trump was acquitted of the charges due to an insufficient number of votes to convict him.
Many Republicans, led by Trump, are trying to punish any Republican who supported his impeachment by backing primary challengers in a bid to remove them from office.