"Kooky" MTG slammed over Biden impeachment "shameless sideshow political stunt"

MAGA Republicans want to impeach the president while defending "fraudster George Santos," top Democrat says

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published May 19, 2023 12:06PM (EDT)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., concludes a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on her plans to file articles of impeachment against President Biden on Thursday, May 18, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., concludes a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on her plans to file articles of impeachment against President Biden on Thursday, May 18, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Right-wing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., introduced articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden on Thursday over his management of migrant crossings across the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the articles, NBC News reports, Greene alleges that Biden is abusing his power by "endangering the security of the United States and thwarting the will of Congress."

"Joe Biden has deliberately compromised our national security by refusing to enforce immigration laws and secure our border, allowed approximately 6 million illegals from over 160 countries to invade our country, deprived border patrol of the necessary resources and policies sufficient to protect our country, and his administration has willfully refused to maintain operational control as required by law," she said in a statement.

The first of three articles claims that Biden's decision to end the Trump administration's border policy, Title 42, resulted in an increase in "illegal aliens and illegal narcotics, including deadly fentanyl, entering the United States." The policy, which expired last week, allowed the federal government to expedite the expulsion of migrants from the country without asylum hearings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the impeachment article, Greene also alleges that Biden's administration "willfully violated" the law by "releasing illegal aliens into the interior of the United States."

Republicans, including Greene, criticized Biden for the decision, expecting the restriction's expiration to prompt a surge in border crossings. However, since Title 42 was lifted, the amount of migrants crossing the border has dropped.

"Greene was salivating at the end of Title 42," tweeted Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent. "She predicted an 'Imminent Invasion!' She told Kevin McCarthy that this could be a good hook for impeaching DHS chief Mayorkas. When the surge didn't happen, she called for impeaching Biden."

Greene's second impeachment article accuses the Biden administration of creating policies that put Americans' lives at risk by "allowing illegal aliens who had tested positive for COVID-19 to enter the country and infect American citizens," adding a claim that the Department of Homeland Security brought "hundreds of thousands of aliens" into the country without properly screening them for COVID-19. 

Greene reportedly peddled myriad conspiracy theories about COVID-19 during the pandemic, attacking policies meant to mitigate the spread of the virus and boasting about never having received a COVID-19 vaccine, even after being suspended from Twitter for a week in 2021 for spreading misinformation about them.

The third article alleges that Biden "created a national security crisis and is endangering the lives of everyday Americans with his open border policies." However, Biden and Mayorkas have said that the border is not open and that they've discouraged migrants from coming to the U.S.

The White House condemned Greene and her claims on Thursday.

"Is there a bigger example of a shameless sideshow political stunt than a trolling impeachment attack by one of the most extreme MAGA members in Congress over 'national security' while she actively demands to defund the FBI and even said she 'would've been armed' and 'would have won' the January 6 insurrection if only she'd been in charge of it?" Ian Sams, the White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, said.

"The President is focused on what's important to the American people, like preventing House Republicans' default that would crash the economy and protecting investments that are creating American manufacturing jobs, not silly political attacks," he added.

The spokesman further admonished Greene on Twitter, echoing the sentiments of his statement.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., also slammed Greene during a news conference on Thursday.

"I think it's an incredible contrast that on Wednesday, extreme MAGA Republicans in the House defend, cuddle, and continue to play footsie with serial fraudster George Santos," Jeffries said, referring to the Republican freshman congressman from New York who was indicted on 13 federal charges, including fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds, last week

"And on Thursday, they want to impeach the president of the United States of America, the FBI director, who was appointed by a Republican president, and the homeland security secretary," Jeffries added.

In a Thursday appearance on "The ReidOut" to discuss Greene and Rep. Jamaal Bowman's, D-N.Y., public exchange and Greene's subsequent reaction, MSNBC political analyst Brendan Buck argued that coverage of "kooky members of Congress" like Greene incentivizes their bad behavior.

Buck, who previously worked for both former Republican House Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, said that the "problem is we elevate them so much right now," adding a claim that Bowman "knew what he was doing" in the debate and baited the congresswoman.

"She sits there every day and takes the bait the Democrats give her. Nobody can reel her in. And she ends up becoming the face of the party. I don't think she's actually reflective of the average House Republican, she's certainly not. She is an outlier. But there's no real opportunity to rein her in. There's no one actually in charge of the Congress," Buck said, according to Mediaite. "Some of this is the fact that Kevin McCarthy has a very small majority and he has no real opportunity to discipline anybody or to kick anybody out. Look at George Santos, he needs every vote that he can get. It should have been very obvious when Kevin McCarthy made Marjorie Taylor Greene a central part of his effort to get the Speaker's gavel and he understood that he couldn't rock the boat at all."

Buck continued, arguing that McCarthy and his slight majority had "no real leverage or opportunity to do anything about any of these people and that's why they're allowed to go out and do these things every single day," calling the group "a stain on the brand of the Republican Party."

Greene's articles of impeachment are the first to be filed against Biden since Republicans took over the House in January, though several Republicans, including Greene, introduced articles during his first two years in office. 

Andrew Jackson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump are the only presidents to have ever been impeached. 

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Tatyana Tandanpolie is a staff writer at Salon. Born and raised in central Ohio, she moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies at New York University. She is currently based in her home state and has previously written for local Columbus publications, including Columbus Monthly, CityScene Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch.

MORE FROM Tatyana Tandanpolie

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Brendan Buck Hakeem Jeffries Ian Sams Joe Biden Marjorie Taylor Green Politics