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Jim Jordan pretends his anti-Biden case hasn’t already collapsed

The entire anti-Biden impeachment crusade collapsed this week, but too many Republicans are pretending otherwise.


The House Republicans’ impeachment crusade against President Joe Biden was already a fiasco, though it managed to get worse last week: The GOP’s star witness — the man at the heart of the party’s case — was arrested for lying to the FBI about the Bidens. This week, the bottom fell out completely: The same witness Alexander Smirnov, according to a Trump-appointed prosecutor, peddled false claims he received from foreign intelligence officials.

In fact, according to the latest court filing, Smirnov “admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about” Hunter Biden.

At this point, it’s clear what House Republicans should say. Members such as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer could begin by apologizing for their role in this debacle. They could then announce that they’ve decided to wrap up their pointless and evidence-free impeachment crusade, recommitting themselves to a more constructive, reality-based approach to governing.

The GOP members could conclude by issuing a plea to federal prosecutors, asking that they not launch an investigation into Republicans’ reliance on lies from foreign intelligence services.

Alas, that’s decidedly not what the impeachment crusaders had to say after their case collapsed. The Hill reported:

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is brushing aside the indictment of the FBI informant at the center of the GOP’s allegations against President Biden, arguing the source’s arrest “doesn’t change the fundamental facts” of the Republican case against the president.

Broadly speaking, the day after the public learned about prosecutors’ latest allegations against Smirnov, Jordan and his Republican allies stressed two points. The first was that the core “facts” against the Democratic president remain the same.

This is, of course, ridiculous. Jordan might still believe baseless claims that were thoroughly discredited five years, but as things currently stand, proponents of the Biden impeachment inquiry no longer have any facts.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the ranking member on the Oversight panel, told reporters that the entire impeachment investigation “essentially ended“ in response to this week’s revelations.

The other point GOP members stressed was that they never much cared about what Smirnov had to say anyway. To hear House Republicans tell it, their star witness simply wasn’t that important.

These members’ records prove otherwise.

Looking ahead, impeachment advocates were already coming to terms with the fact they lacked the votes to actually impeach the incumbent president, and after this week’s developments, no one seriously believes Biden’s impeachment will happen. There is, however, a lingering question.

Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, noted via social media that the “only remaining question” is whether GOP lawmakers “were witting or unwitting agents” of the Russian government.

In other words, did Jordan, Comer, and their colleagues accidentally rely on foreign disinformation, or did Republicans knowingly rely on foreign disinformation?

The New York Democrat made related comments to CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week, arguing that his far-right colleagues “wittingly or unwittingly ... have been acting as an agent or an asset of Russian intelligence.” Goldman added that the evidence now suggests that Republicans “are willing to be used as assets of Russian intelligence,” concluding that “the real danger” in Congress is members “operating at the behest of Russian intelligence and Vladimir Putin.”

I don’t imagine we’ve heard the last of this.