The House GOP’s first impeachment inquiry hearing got off to a rocky start on Thursday, as even the Republicans’ witnesses conceded there wasn’t enough evidence yet to support impeaching President Joe Biden.
Besides pointing out that Republicans had yet to provide any “smoking gun” linking the president to any criminal wrongdoing when it came to his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, Democrats also repeatedly called out their GOP colleagues for doing the ex-president Donald Trump’s bidding with the “sham impeachment.”
Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) explicitly made this point during her line of questioning on Thursday afternoon. Armed with props, the lawmaker noted that the twice-impeached former president has taken to his social media accounts to demand that Republicans impeach his successor.
“We know that Donald Trump has called for this impeachment inquiry because we have the direct evidence from his own social. You can see it right here,” Stansbury exclaimed while a staffer held up a large image of a Truth Social post. “He says impeach!”
Adding that The New York Times has reported that members of the House Oversight Committee have been “directly coordinating” with Trump and “briefing” him on the inquiry, Stansbury said the ex-president has also urged them to support a government shutdown.
“We also know that if Donald Trump does not get his way, he wants his loyalists to shut down the government. How do we know that?” Stansbury declared. “Because he posted it, right here on his social media. And his loyalists in this committee, who are doing his bidding for him today, retweeted it!”
With a staffer holding up another image of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) sharing Trump’s call for a shutdown, the congresswoman continued: “In fact, it actually says right here, the reason they want to defund the government and impeach is because this is the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me.”
Claiming that “this is not a serious inquiry,” the New Mexico Democrat added that “the witnesses here don’t even believe there is enough evidence to impeach” before taking a personal swipe at the former president.
“We see the long arm—but little hands—of Mr. Donald Trump, whose fingerprints are all over this hearing and this sham impeachment,” she concluded. “We know that the American people are smart, they will not be fooled by what is happening here today, especially as they shut the government down in two days with catastrophic impacts for our communities.”