GOP Senator Says Biden Could Be Impeached Over Ukraine

Andrew Harnik/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, who this morning excused President Donald Trump’s actions over the Ukraine scandal as “maybe wrong,” told Bloomberg News on Sunday that if former Vice President Joe Biden were to become the next president, the GOP could very well try to impeach him.

Here’s the full quote:

“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” Ernst said in an interview with 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.’”

The logic continues the thread that the actions of Biden are comparable to Trump’s. One that Ernst has been hammering home—to, surprisingly, Biden’s delight.

After she wondered to a gaggle of reporters amid impeachment if voters in Iowa “[will] be supporting Vice President Biden at this point,” Biden began to talk it up on the campaign trail.

As Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy wrote, he’s become animated talking about Ernst.

“Whoooooa!” [Biden] said, dropping his voice for comic effect. “Joni, Joni, Joni! She spilled the beans! You know, she’s just come out and said it! The whole impeachment trial for Trump is just about a political hit job to smear me, from the standpoint of Joni and all of her friends. It’s how scared Trump is of running against me.”

To explain his vote for acquitting Trump, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee worried about a “perpetual impeachment” whenever “the House [is] a different party than the president.” In his theory, letting Trump off the hook stopped that. Then, Ernst floated this idea. Maybe the lesson everyone learned wasn’t to honor impeachment; but that, unpunished, using dirty tactics against your political opponents—like threatening impeachment over specious claims—will be tolerated by Republicans.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate