McCarthy eyes speaker’s gavel, talks ‘accountability’ but stiff arms notion of impeaching Biden

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has his eyes set on the speaker’s gavel come January and as he vies for a moderate position ahead of Tuesday’s election, he refused to give a concrete answer on the possibility of impeachment for President Joe Biden.

(Video: CNN)

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Melanie Zanona that aired Monday, the California lawmaker touted the GOP’s Commitment to America as the “focus” heading into 2023. But as many voters, and even members of the Republican caucus, have demanded action be taken against the president for a whole host of issues ranging from his failures at the border to suspected connections to foreign entities, Zanona wanted to know, “Is impeachment on the table?”

“You know what’s on the table?” McCarthy offered, “Accountability.”

“Some of your members have already called for impeachment,” she later reminded him. “What do you say to those members?”

“I say the one thing I’ve always known about the land of America–it’s the rule of law, and we will hold the rule of law and we won’t play politics with this. We’ll never use impeachment for political purposes,” he vowed. “That doesn’t mean if something rises to the occasion it would not be used at any other time. It wouldn’t matter if it’s a Republican or Democrat.”

McCarthy juxtaposed his position with that of the actions taken by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who was an impeachment manager for the first impeachment of then-President Donald Trump built on a partisan narrative. “But the idea of what the Democrats have done, what Adam Schiff did to this nation, is treacherous. To lie to the nation and put us through this time and again when he knew where this origin’s created from–we’re better than all that.”

The congressman has remained adamant on this point as he had stated much the same in an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo in April. “Look,” he told her, “the one thing we learned that the Democrats did is they used impeachment for political reasons. We believe in the rule of law. We’re not going to pick and choose just because somebody has power. We’re going to uphold the law.”

To that end, he returned Zanona’s questioning with some of his own.

“Shouldn’t we know where the origins of COVID actually started? They didn’t have one hearing on it. Shouldn’t we know what happened in the last 60 days of Afghanistan, so we would never repeat that again–we wouldn’t have 13 new gold star families that should have never happened? Shouldn’t we know why the DOJ would take it upon themselves to go after parents that would go to school board meetings? And shouldn’t we know where the taxpayers’ money is being spent?” he asked.

“I call that accountability,” he asserted, “and that’s a responsibility for Congress regardless of whose ever party is in the White House.”

“We need to make sure we get our nation back on track,” McCarthy concluded on the topic, “and that’s what the Commitment to America does. It is a plan for a new direction. An economy that’s strong, a nation that is safe, a future that’s built on freedom and a government that’s accountable. That is our focus.”


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