About a year ago, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) raised a few eyebrows when he talked about impeaching Hillary Clinton, even though she hasn't been elected. The far-right congressman was so concerned about the Democrat's email server management that he believes Clinton would, literally on her inauguration day, be "subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors."Of course, Brooks has a reputation for, shall we say, quirky political views, and few found reason to take his rhetoric about impeachment seriously. After all, this kind of chatter before the election even happens seems plainly ridiculous, even by contemporary standards.But the rhetoric isn't limited to oddball House members and extremists in conservative media. In Wisconsin, the Beloit Daily News reported yesterday that the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee is apparently also on board with impeaching Clinton.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Monday he believes Hillary Clinton's actions with her private email server are impeachable offenses should she be elected president."She purposefully circumvented it (the law), this was willful concealment and destruction," Johnson said during an interview at the Beloit Daily News.
Pointing to specific federal statutes, the Wisconsin Republican, facing a tough re-election fight, added, "I'm not a lawyer, but this is clearly written. I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor, I believe she is in violation of both laws."The FBI, it's worth noting, came to the opposite conclusion -- and the bureau's Republican director told Congress it wasn't a close call.I suppose it's refreshing, in a way. Ordinarily, congressional Republicans wait until a Democrat is in the White House before throwing around reckless impeachment rhetoric. Johnson, like Brooks, seems to believe there's no point in waiting.We'll learn soon enough whether or not Clinton wins the election, but if she does, it appears the "honeymoon" phrase of her presidency won't exist.Postscript: To appreciate just how far some on the right are willing to go with this line of thought, note that a National Review writer made the case two months ago that congressional Republicans should impeach Clinton now, before she takes office, while she's still a private citizen. That obviously hasn't happened, though there are still six days to go, so let's not rule anything out.* Update: Rudy Giuliani, a leading Donald Trump surrogate, reportedly "guaranteed" an Iowa audience yesterday that Clinton, if elected, would be impeached within a year of taking office.