Trump privately encouraged Republican lawmakers to impeach Biden | ET REALITY


On a spacious patio overlooking the golf course of his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey, former President Donald J. Trump dined Sunday night with a close political ally, Marjorie Taylor Greene.

It was a chance for the former president to catch up with the far-right congresswoman from Georgia. But as they talked about halibut and Diet Cokes, Greene brought up a topic of considerable interest to Trump: the push by House Republicans to impeach his likely opponent in next year’s election.

“I briefed him on the strategy I want to see put in place with impeachment,” Greene said in a brief phone interview.

Trump’s dinner with Greene came just two nights before President Kevin McCarthy announced his decision Tuesday to order the opening of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, under intense pressure from his right flank.

Over the past few months, Trump has closely followed House Republicans’ push to impeach Biden. Trump has spoken regularly by phone with members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and other congressional Republicans who pushed for impeachment, according to a person close to Trump who was not authorized to publicly discuss the conversations. Trump has encouraged the effort both privately and publicly.

Greene, who filed articles of impeachment against Biden, said she told Trump she wanted the impeachment inquiry to be “long and excruciatingly painful for Joe Biden.”

She would not say what Trump said in response, but said her ultimate goal was to have a “long list of names” — people she said were accomplices involved in the Biden family’s crimes. She said she was confident Trump would win back the White House in 2024 and that she wanted to “go after every single one of them and use the Department of Justice to prosecute them.”

While Biden’s son Hunter was charged in June with two misdemeanor tax offenses and one felony firearm offense, Republicans have not proven that Biden committed any crimes. House Republicans are conducting the impeachment inquiry without evidence that Biden took official actions as vice president to benefit his son’s financial interests or directly benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings. .

Trump also spoke weekly over the past month with Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, according to a person familiar with the conversations who was not authorized to discuss them publicly. During those conversations, Stefanik also briefed Trump on impeachment investigation strategy, she said.

The former president thanked Stefanik for her public support for the impeachment investigation. in July, the person added. Stefanik, who spoke to Trump again on Tuesday after McCarthy ordered the impeachment inquiry, was the first member of the House Republican leadership to publicly call for the first step in Biden’s impeachment process. .

A person familiar with Trump’s thinking said that despite his enthusiasm for the investigation to move forward, the former president has not been arm-twisting McCarthy. Trump has been much more aggressive in pressuring several members to expunge his own impeachment record, the person said, potentially getting Congress to take the unprecedented step of removing his two impeachments from the House record.

Trump has not expressed concern that the McCarthy impeachment effort could backfire and benefit Biden, according to two people with direct knowledge of his private statements over several months. Instead, he asked an ally why there had been no move to impeach Biden once he learned the House was back in session.

A spokesperson for McCarthy did not respond to a question about his interactions with the former president in connection with the impeachment trial.

When asked for comment, Trump’s communications director, Steven Cheung, pointed to Trump’s public statements regarding Biden’s impeachment.

The former president’s public comments about the possibility of Biden’s impeachment have moved from wistful reflections on the Justice Department’s alleged inaction to explicit demands.

“They came after us and yet Joe Biden is a cold criminal, trapped on the right and nothing happens to him. Forget about family. There is nothing wrong with him,” the former president said at a rally in March.

In a town hall meeting in June with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump lamented what happened after authorities found boxes of classified documents at both Mar-a-Lago and the Bidens’ Delaware residence.

“It’s a dual system of government,” Trump said. “You talk about law and order. “You cannot have law and order in a country where there is so much corruption.”

That same month, after Trump was impeached on charges of improperly withholding sensitive national security documents and obstructing investigators, he declared that if re-elected he would appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” Biden and his family.

In July, Trump had begun suggesting that Republicans should impeach the president, and as the summer wore on, he conveyed his wish with greater urgency.

“So you impeach me for a ‘perfect’ phone call, and you don’t impeach Biden for being the most corrupt president in American history???” Trump wrote in all caps on his website, Truth Social.

In Another publication from Truth Social almost in capital letters In late August, the former president wrote, referring to congressional Republicans: “Either impeach the bum or fade into oblivion. They did it to us!

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