Republicans' Backup Plan: A Trump Card for 2022

Republican Efforts to Impeach Biden Stalled: Politicos Reports

House Republicans' push to impeach President Joe Biden this year is stalling, as intraparty skepticism rises over its feasibility and potential consequences. With time running out, Republicans are turning their attention to a backup plan: leveraging the Department of Justice and FBI to help their ally Donald Trump deal setbacks to the Biden administration and possibly the president himself, should he regain the White House in 2022.

According to Politico, the impeachment process has lost momentum, with no visible momentum for appointing a special investigator focused on Biden's son, Hunter, and possible involvement in Ukraine and China business dealings. Their backup plan is to lean on the DOJ and FBI to take up investigations that could benefit Trump, hoping to amplify the credibility of any subsequent allegations or accusations compared to acting alone in the impeachment process.

The department's interventionist tactics potentially include appointing a special counsel akin to Robert Mueller, who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, or issuing criminal referrals, circumventing the presidential grant of clemency ability by seeking charges that Trump could pardon himself for. These efforts would directly and indirectly help Trump, as sidelining Biden through investigations could diminish his chances of winning the Democratic nomination. Additionally, casting doubt on Biden and Hunter's legitimacy could indirectly boost Trump's own prospects were he to seek reelection.

The Politico report notes that Republicans' tactics could be construed as abusing the DOJ and FBI for political means, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi remarking that the "department's integrity must be protected from the corruption of Trump and his allies." However, with the impeachment process at a standstill, Republicans appear ready to test these avenues to aid their cause, setting the stage for possible clashes between the Republican-led Senate and the DOJ should the department resist these endeavors.

Just last month, Biden acknowledged the possibility of a Trump comeback in 2024, claiming that he "wouldn't do anything to discourage" the idea. As the Politico report underscores, the Republicans' backup plan, though a long shot, could play right into Biden's hands, providing valuable ammunition for Trump's anticipated reelection campaign.

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