House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy previously said his caucus would not 'play politics' with impeachment.
Republicans will hold a small majority in the U.S. House of Representatives next year, media outlets projected on Wednesday. The party's leaders have made clear that they intend to use their new power to launch investigations based on right-wing conspiracy theories and of President Joe Biden.
The last time Republicans controlled Congress with a Democrat in the White House, under President Barack Obama, they launched an array of politicized investigations into what they alleged were issues relating to the administration. The probes turned up little and took up thousands of hours of lawmakers' time.
In an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was asked by host Sean Hannity about his caucus' plans to investigate the president's son Hunter, the alleged "politicization" and "weaponization" of federal law enforcement, and the true origins of the coronavirus.
"We've already begun," the California Republican said. "We want to know the origins of where COVID began, so we never have that happen again. Who funded it? How did it get there?"
Most scientific studies have suggested that the virus spread from a live animal market, not a virology lab.
McCarthy detailed several other planned investigations into the Biden administration:
We want to know what happened in the last 60 days of Afghanistan. Why didn't the president listen to the military, creating 13 new Gold Star families that never should have taken place? We've got a number of ways. Why did the DOJ go after parents and call them terrorists? How can we have a secretary of homeland [security] calling that this border is secure, when you have more than 2.7 individuals [sic] illegally coming across? Are the number of people on the terrorist watch list coming into America? What do they have planned, who are they talking to, and why are they here? That's just a start.
House Republicans voted 188-31 on Tuesday to nominate McCarthy for House speaker. He will need 218 votes to win the job in January.
Politico reported Wednesday that Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and James Comer (R-KY) had told Fox News that they are planning investigations into Hunter Biden's business dealings and into whether the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Department of Justice are biased against Republicans.
"We are going to make it very clear that this is now an investigation of President Biden," Comer told the network.
Before the election, McCarthy had downplayed his caucus' plans to politicize the oversight process. In a Sept. 29 press conference, he said they would not do to Biden what Democrats had done to twice-impeached former President Donald Trump.
"We just went through four years of watching a political impeachment," he said. "We will uphold the law. We will not play politics with it. But we'll do whatever in the nature that the rules and facts take us to."
But in a secretly recorded video taken by the Undercurrent's Lauren Windsor in October, Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona promised that under a Republican majority, "Jim Jordan, when he chairs the Oversight Committee, will spend 240 days knifing the Biden administration."
In 2015, McCarthy bragged to Hannity that their duplicative investigations into a 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, had achieved their true purpose: hurting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's political prospects.
"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping," he said. "Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought and made that happen."
Much of the GOP's midterm election rhetoric was focused on the economy and consumer prices.
And while exit polling indicated that those issues, along with abortion rights, public safety, and gun violence were the most important to voters, House Republicans are making clear that they intend to focus much of their effort on something that was not a priority for any significant segment of voters.
Kyle Herrig, executive director of the Congressional Integrity Project, an outside group focused on defending the Biden administration, said in a press release on Thursday that Comer and Jordan had revealed "House Republicans' true intentions – politically motivated investigations into President Biden, his family, and his cabinet. Instead of addressing the issues that affect the American people the most, they are acting like Donald Trump and pushing their radical MAGA Republican agenda."
Published with permission from The American Independent Foundation.