Specifically, the Republican contended that Biden could be impeached on a charge of failing to secure the border by neglecting to fulfill his constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Though the senator argued there are “potentially multiple grounds” for articles of impeachment, “the utter lawlessness of President Biden’s refusal to enforce the border” is the “most compelling.”
If Republicans do choose that course of action during the 118th Congress, Biden would be only the fourth president to be impeached.
Cruz called it “overwhelmingly likely” that the GOP gains a majority and suggested it’s a foregone conclusion in some Washington, D.C. circles that Democrats will lose their grip on the lower chamber. He was less optimistic about his party’s chances in the U.S. Senate, estimating the odds to be toss-up.
“Whether it’s justified or not, as we talked about when Verdict launched, the Democrats weaponized impeachment,” the senator remarked.
“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 said he observed at the time that “you can expect an impeachment proceeding” against a future Democratic president if the GOP took the reins of power in Congress.
The Democrat-controlled U.S. House impeached former President Trump in December 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The articles of impeachment accused Trump of offering foreign aid to the Ukrainian government in exchange for investigating President Biden — then a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination — and his son, Hunter Biden. With a handful of exceptions, the impeachment was largely along party lines.
In February 2020, the U.S. Senate acquitted Trump on the first article, abuse of power, by a 52 to 48 vote. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) was the only Republican to vote in favor of convicting Trump on the article.
The upper chamber acquitted Trump on the second article, obstruction of Congress, in a 53 to 47 vote strictly along party lines.
In the week following the riot in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, the U.S. House impeached the 45th president again on a charge of incitement of insurrection. After he left office, Trump was acquitted again in February 2021, that time with 57 voting guilty and 43 voting not guilty, falling short of the 67 votes required for a conviction.
While talk of impeachment has become a feature of political rhetoric, the process enables Congress to bring charges against a federal official and remove them from office. The U.S. House may impeach an officeholder by a simple majority vote, but two-thirds of the U.S. Senate must vote in favor of conviction in order for the official to be found guilty.
Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Upon conviction by the U.S. Senate, a president would be removed from the presidency and could be barred from ever holding public office again. However, unlike in a criminal proceeding, the chamber could not assess a penalty such as a fine or imprisonment.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.