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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Biden faces impeachment over Israel weapons suspension

Republicans are using the Democrats’ own words from the 2019 Trump trial

A Republican congressman has filed articles of impeachment against US President Joe Biden for withholding deliveries of weapons to Israel, making a point of using the exact same phrasing the Democrats had used to impeach President Donald Trump.

Earlier this week, Biden told CNN that “we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells” to Israel if it proceeded with plans to attack Rafah City in south Gaza. Republicans quickly pointed out that Democrats had accused Trump of “abuse of power” for allegedly withholding congressionally approved military aid in 2019.

Read more: Turkey halts trade with Israel amid Gaza crisis

“Joe Biden is pressuring Israel, our biggest ally in the Middle East, by pausing their funding that has already been approved in the House, if they don’t stop all operations with Hamas,” Representative Cory Mills of Florida told Fox News on Thursday, adding that it was a pretty clear case of “quid pro quo” and that he intended to impeach Biden for it.

On Friday, Mills made good on his threat, formally initiating the procedure in the US House of Representatives.

“In violation of his oath to faithfully execute the office of the president and to uphold the Constitution, President Biden abused the powers of his office by soliciting a ‘quid pro quo’ with Israel while leveraging vital military aid for policy changes,” according to Mills.

Read more: Hamas, CIA director to hold talks in Cairo on Gaza truce

Democrats, who controlled the House of Representatives at the time, impeached Trump in a party-line vote after accusing him of abuse of power. They claimed Trump had threatened to delay a shipment of weapons to Ukraine unless Kiev investigated the firing of a prosecutor who was looking into a company that had hired Biden’s son Hunter. Biden had publicly boasted about getting the prosecutor fired, but as he was in the race for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination, the party claimed this amounted to soliciting “election interference.”

The impeachment went nowhere because the Republican-majority Senate refused to convict Trump in February 2020.

Republicans currently hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives, which has been largely ineffective at opposing the Democrats’ priorities. Even if Mills manages to get the House to impeach Biden, it is highly likely that he will be acquitted in the Democrat-controlled Senate.