Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) says that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden could face calls for impeachment if elected president.
“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” she told Bloomberg News. “Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, ‘Well, we’re going to impeach him.'”
She construed the grounds for impeachment as Biden “being assigned to take on Ukrainian corruption yet turning a blind eye to Burisma because his son was on the board making over a million dollars a year.”
There’s been grumbling online about Ernst’s comment, but it’s worth mentioning that University of Iowa Law Professor Andy Grewal suggests that a tweet misconstrued Ernst’s statement:
— Andy Grewal (@AndyGrewal) February 2, 2020
Here’s how Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein clarified her tweet:
I should note she was hypothetical — this *could* be the approach that *people* take. Clearly those people are Republicans.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 2, 2020
For the sake of context, it’s worth mentioning that some legal experts, including Grewal, bristled at the idea of the GOP impeaching a President Biden ASAP. It’s something to keep in mind, depending on how the 2020 presidential election goes.
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) February 2, 2020
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) February 2, 2020
Social media responses aside, Ernst’s statement establishes a possible new talking point: That Biden would be vulnerable to impeachment calls because it happened to President Donald Trump. The current head-of-state got in trouble after allegedly making military aid to the Ukraine contingent on the nation investigating Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Well, candidate Biden, the former vice president under President Barack Obama would be investigated for allegedly pushing out a Ukrainian prosecutor because of his son’s Burisma work. The former VP wasn’t accused of wrongdoing at the time, but even his aides reportedly worried Hunter Biden’s relationship with Burisma was a bad look.
Practically speaking, it’s as likely as Trump being removed from office in his ongoing impeachment trial. A Dem-led House approved of articles of impeachment against him, but many most Republican senators in the GOP-run Senate didn’t even want to hear witnesses. Assuming a party-line vote, a Biden situation would be the flip-side of this. A GOP senate would be more likely to hear impeachment evidence, but a Dem-led House is hypothetically unlikely to let impeachment articles get off the ground in the first place.
I mean, this is cringe-inducing, obvs.
But also in what conceivable universe does a Dem win the presidency but the GOP takes the House? https://t.co/fp7ic7rLbm
— Josh Chafetz (@joshchafetz) February 2, 2020
[Image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]