The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Sen. Ted Cruz says Republicans are likely to impeach Biden if they retake House

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 16, 2021. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) predicted Republicans would move to impeach President Biden “whether it’s justified or not” if they retake the House in this year’s midterm elections.

The White House responded Tuesday by calling on Cruz to work with Democrats toward bipartisan agreement on policy matters instead of “name-calling” and making political predictions.

Cruz’s comments, which he made during a podcast appearance late last month, underscore the extent to which rising partisan hostility has paralyzed Washington.

During the “Verdict With Ted Cruz” episode, the senator was asked whether he thinks there is any chance a Republican House would impeach Biden, given that Democrats had twice impeached President Donald Trump.

“Yeah, I do think there’s a chance of that,” Cruz said. “And whether it’s justified or not, as we talked about when ‘Verdict’ launched, the Democrats weaponized impeachment. They used it for partisan purposes to go after Trump because they disagreed with him. And one of the real disadvantages of doing that . . . is the more you weaponize it and turn it into a partisan cudgel, you know, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Cruz added, “That’s not how impeachment is meant to work, but I think the Democrats crossed that line.”

“I think there’ll be enormous pressure on a Republican House to begin impeachment proceedings,” he said.

Trump last year became the only American president to have been impeached twice.

The Democratic-led House first impeached him in December 2019 on charges that he abused his office and obstructed Congress in relation to his attempts to withhold military aid to Ukraine and pressure its government to investigate Biden. Trump was impeached again last January on the charge of incitement of insurrection, after his false claims of a stolen election led a crowd of his supporters to violently storm the Capitol.

Both times, Trump was acquitted by the Senate. No House Republicans voted for Trump’s first impeachment, while 10 joined with Democrats for the second.

In the podcast interview, Cruz argued that there are “potentially multiple grounds to consider” for impeaching Biden, including “the utter lawlessness” of his “refusal to enforce the border.”

“That’s probably the strongest grounds right now for impeachment,” Cruz said. “But there may be others. And because the Democrats decided that this is just another tool in the partisan war chest, I think there’s a real risk that turnabout will be fair play.”

Asked Tuesday about Cruz’s remarks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the senator should work with the White House and congressional Democrats on immigration reform rather than making accusations.

“Our reaction is maybe Senator Cruz can work with us on getting something done on comprehensive immigration reform and putting in place measures that will help make sure smart security is what we see at the border, taking a more humane approach to the border instead of name-calling, accusation-calling and making predictions of the future,” Psaki said at a regular news briefing.