Ted Cruz grows his brand with popular tool — a podcast

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been a familiar face and voice on Fox News, right-wing talk radio and elsewhere in the conservative media ecosystem since first being elected to the Senate more than a decade ago. 

But these days, Cruz is getting a boost in raising his profile through a media product of his own making.  

The Republican lawmaker hosts a now thrice-weekly podcast that has grown in popularity since its first episode published during former President Trump’s first impeachment trial.  

Over the last three years, “Verdict” has helped Cruz amass a following of millions of listeners each month, all while promoting frequent GOP talking points, blasting his political enemies and keeping the senator's name in the headlines.  

“I’m not interested in being a pundit,” the Republican senator told The Hill during an interview this week. “But part of fighting successfully is communicating and explaining what the issues are that matter. So, I view the podcast as fulfilling one of the really important responsibilities of representing Texans.”  

“Verdict” became a quick success in terms of listenership during Trump’s first impeachment drama, quickly climbing podcasting leaderboards, with Politico noting at the time it beat out “The Daily” from The New York Times and Joe Rogan’s popular talk show on iTunes.  

Today, it ranks among the top podcasts in the “politics” category and among the top 25 among all “news” podcasts, according to podcast tracking website PodBay. This month alone, “Verdict” has raked in 2 million downloads, including more than a million unique listeners, Cruz said.  

The Republican argues that his show, which often features lengthy discussions on constitutional law and politics, has seen success because of what he described as the failings of the mainstream media in acknowledging topics important to conservatives.  

“Much of the corporate media does not provide in-depth coverage of what is going on,” Cruz contends. “The reason why people faithfully listen three times a week is because when they’re done they’ve learned something … far better than what they’re able to get from the vast majority of media sources.”  

Started initially as an explanatory program laying out and poking holes in the impeachment charges against Trump, Cruz now uses each episode of “Verdict” to pontificate about everything from President Biden’s family to foreign policy issues and other news of the day.  

During one recent episode, Cruz explained for his audience the legalese around Hunter Biden’s plea deal, which fell apart in a Delaware courtroom last week after the president’s son was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay income taxes as part of a deal announced last month with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“It’s a plea deal that is designed to be a slap on the wrist, so Hunter serves no jail time whatsoever, and that it’s real purpose as we’ve discussed is to protect Joe Biden from any exposure to Hunter’s influence-selling and corruptions,” the GOP senator said during the episode. 

Cruz, a second-term senator who mounted an unsuccessful campaign for president against Trump in 2016, fashions himself as a media-savvy national political operative — one who is mindful of audience demographics on each platform he appears on.  

“If I’m walking through an airport and a woman in her 70s comes up and says, ‘Hey I loved you on TV,’ you know many of the demographic that are watching TV interviews are of an older generation,” the senator said.  

“On the other hand, if I’ve got another guy with a ponytail and tattoos comes up and says, ‘Hey, I love what you’re doing,’ I know what the next words he’s going to say. He’s going to mention the podcast.”  

Other high-profile lawmakers have also dipped their toes in the podcasting arena. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) are regulars on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. 

Other up-and-coming lawmakers have used social media to boost their brand, such as freshman Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.), who has mobilized an aggressive campaign on TikTok to reach voters, and progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who has made news with opinions given while speaking on Instagram Live. 

Cruz, likewise, makes it clear his goal with his podcast is to drive the news cycle as much as he can.  

“It’s a way of raising issues and advancing issues that matter to Texans,” he told The Hill.  

Cruz’s podcasting venture has been met with some criticism, including over the ethics of a sitting U.S. senator operating a talk show.  

The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics after he reached a syndication agreement with iHeartMedia, one of the largest providers of audio content in the country, contending the deal violated Senate rules on accepting gifts from lobbyists. 

iHeartMedia is a registered lobbyist, according to OpenSecrets. 

Cruz has said he receives “no financial benefit” from his podcast.  

“It’s no surprise Democrats and their allies in the corrupt corporate media take issue with Sen. Cruz’s chart-topping podcast — it allows him to circumvent the media gatekeepers and speak directly to the American people about what is really happening in Washington,” a Cruz spokesman told the Austin American-Statesman at the time.  

“Sen. Cruz receives no financial benefit from 'Verdict.' There is no difference between Sen. Cruz appearing on a network television show, a cable news show, or a podcast airing on iHeartMedia.” 

While Cruz, who is up for reelection in 2024, still sees some value in traditional cable news hits and radio appearances, he says the show he puts on himself allows for extra flexibility in pushing his agenda.  

“Let’s say you’re doing a TV interview and it’s six or eight minutes. That can be valuable if you reach a lot of people,” he said. “But in six or eight minutes, you can’t engage in a whole lot of substance. You can have a few talking points, you can have kind of a clever one-liner, but it’s difficult to have really detailed analysis in a short TV or radio interview. The podcast format, I’ve really grown to like.” 

GOP, McCarthy on collision course over expunging Trump’s impeachments

House Republicans increasingly find themselves on a collision course over efforts to expunge the impeachments of former President Trump, a battle that pits hard-line conservatives — who are pressing for a vote — against moderates already warning GOP leaders they'll reject it.

The promised opposition from centrist Republicans all but ensures the resolutions would fail if they hit the floor. And it puts Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in a no-win situation.

If he doesn't stage the vote, he risks the ire of Trump and his allies. If he does, the measures would be shot down, validating Trump's impeachments just as his legal troubles are piling up. 

The issue is just the latest in a long string of debates challenging McCarthy’s ability to keep his conference united while Trump — the GOP’s presidential front-runner who’s also facing two criminal indictments — hovers in the background. 

The expungement concept is hardly new. A group of House Republicans — including Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) — introduced legislation last month designed to erase Trump’s impeachments from the historical record. 

But the debate reached new heights last week when Politico reported that McCarthy — after suggesting publicly that Trump is not the strongest contender for the GOP presidential nomination — raced to make amends, in part by promising to vote on expungement before the end of September.

McCarthy has denied he ever made such a promise. But the denial only magnified the issue in the public eye — and amplified the conservative calls for the Speaker to bring the measure for a vote. 

“It should definitely come to the floor and be expunged,” said Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), a member of the Freedom Caucus and vocal Trump ally.

“I’m hoping to see it get done before August recess,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a lead sponsor of one of the resolutions, told reporters, later adding that “these are impeachments that should’ve never happened, and so we would like to expunge them.”

The expungement push is anathema to many moderate Republicans, particularly those facing tough reelections in competitive districts, who are treading carefully not to link themselves too closely with Trump.

Some of those lawmakers are already vowing to vote against the measure if it hits the floor — all but guaranteeing its failure given the Republicans’ narrow House majority — and some of them are proactively reaching out to GOP leaders to warn them against staging such a vote. 

“I have every expectation I'll vote against expungement, and I have every expectation that I will work to bring others with me,” said one moderate Republican who requested anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic, noting “I think my views represent a fair number of principled conservatives.”

“We can't change history. I mean, that impeachment vote happened. And I just don't think we should be engaged in the kind of cancel culture that tries to whitewash history.”

The lawmaker added: “I’ve communicated that with leadership.”

A majority-Democrat House impeached Trump twice during his four-year reign in the White House.

The first instance, in late 2019, stemmed from Trump’s threat to withhold U.S. military aid to Ukraine unless that country’s leaders launched a corruption investigation into Trump’s chief political rival, Joe Biden. The second, in early 2021, targeted Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was conducted by Trump supporters trying to overturn his election defeat.

The votes made Trump just the third U.S. president to be impeached and the first to have it happen twice. His Republican allies have long accused Democrats of abusing their authority for the sole purpose of damaging a political foe.

Expunging an impeachment has never been attempted. And opponents of the move in both parties are quick to point out that it has no practical significance because the impeachments happened and can’t be reversed.

More from The Hill

“There's no procedure for expunging an impeachment,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a former constitutional law professor who led Trump’s second impeachment. “It's completely meaningless.” 

Others pointed out that Trump has already been exonerated by the Senate, which failed to convict him after both impeachments, making any new process pointless. 

“They’re silly,” centrist Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said in a text message. “When do we expunge a not guilty verdict?”

The pushback hasn’t discouraged Trump’s allies from pressing ahead for expungement, if only as a symbolic show of solidarity with the embattled former president.

McCarthy, who relied on Trump’s backing to win the Speaker’s gavel this year, threw his support behind expungement in late June, telling reporters the first punishment “was not based on true facts,” and the second was “on the basis of no due process.”

“I think it is appropriate, just as I thought before, that you should expunge it because it never should have gone through,” he said.

After fading from prominence for about a month, the conversation over expungement cropped back up following Politico's report, which came days after the former president said he received a “target letter” from the Justice Department informing him he is the subject of their investigation into his efforts to remain in power following the 2020 election — which includes the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The receipt of a target letter is often a sign that charges will soon be filed, which would mark Trump’s third indictment in recent months — and his second on the federal level. That prospect has only amped up Trump’s fiercest defenders on Capitol Hill and could fuel efforts to expunge the two rebukes he received while in office.

“Every time you pile something on Trump, his numbers go up,” said Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.). “I'm surprised the Democrats aren't just wanting to ignore him.” 

The discourse over expungement, however, is dividing House Republicans at a precarious moment for McCarthy as Congress stares down a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown.

The appropriations process is already causing controversy within the House GOP conference, as hard-line conservatives — many of them close Trump allies — push leadership to enact aggressive cuts, which includes setting spending at levels lower than the agreement McCarthy struck with President Biden in May.

Trump has thus far stayed out of that debate, as he’d done earlier in the year during the debt-ceiling battle. But he remains a wildcard in the weeks leading up to the shutdown deadline, especially if his legal problems worsen and the pressure on his congressional allies to provide some form of exoneration — even if symbolic — grows more pronounced. 

Democrats, meanwhile, are not sympathetic. 

“The Republicans face a serious political problem,” Raskin said, “because they have wrapped their party around the fortunes and the ambitions of Donald Trump.”

Emily Brooks contributed.

GOP senators hold back on defending Trump as he faces new indictment 

The revelation that former President Trump faces a possible grand jury indictment connected to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack and his efforts to hold on to power has landed like a bombshell on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers saw firsthand the violence unleashed that day. 

Some GOP lawmakers rushed to Trump’s defense, but many Republicans in the Senate held back from defending the former president, who has been accused of stoking the Jan. 6 mob and who waited before calling on protesters to disperse.  

The expected indictment separately poses a tough political problem for many Republicans critical of Trump, who remains wildly popular with the party’s base. 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who hasn’t spoken to Trump since December 2020, stayed quiet about the news of yet another indictment against his onetime ally, who is now leading the Republican presidential primary field by 30 points in national polls.  

Minority Leader Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. (Greg Nash)

His top deputies, Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), reacted with caution.

Asked whether it would be “legitimate” for special counsel Jack Smith to charge Trump for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Thune said it would depend on the facts and evidence presented.  

“That’s going to depend on whether or not laws were broken," he said. "So clearly, I don’t know what they’re looking at. But I’m sure we’ll know in due time.” 

Cornyn dodged the politically charged topic altogether, arguing the Justice Department has the authority to investigate whether Trump broke the laws in trying to stop the certification of the 2020 election. 

“I think that’s entirely within the purview of the Department of Justice and has nothing to do with the United States Senate,” he said.  

Asked if Smith is a “credible prosecutor,” he said, “I have no knowledge of anything approaching that.” 

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who called the indictment of Trump last month for violating the Espionage Act “political” and “rotten,” was the only senior member of the Republican leadership to accuse the Justice Department of acting on political motives.  

“It looks like the president is targeting his most popular opponent. Isn't that interesting? Sounds political to me,” he said.  

Asked if he saw any qualitative difference between the 37 felony counts federal prosecutors brought against Trump last month for refusing to turn over classified documents he kept improperly at Mar-a-Lago and new charges related to Jan. 6, Barrasso saw both indictments as political attacks.  

More from The Hill

“The administration is siccing its dogs on the former president of the United States and their most formidable opponent,” he said.  

Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) only said, “It’s a never-ending story, that’s my comment.”  

The generally muted response from Senate Republican leaders posed a stark contrast with House Republican leaders, who rushed to Trump’s defense.  

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested the Justice Department is bringing new charges against Trump because he is leading the Republican presidential field by double digits and pulled ahead of President Biden in a recent poll.  

“Recently, President Trump went up in the polls and was actually surpassing President Biden for reelection. So what do they do now? Weaponize government to go after their No. 1 opponent,” McCarthy said Tuesday. 

“This is not equal justice. They treat people differently and they go after their adversaries,” he said. 

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks to reporters during a media availability in Statuary Hall of the Capitol on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

McCarthy’s comments reveal how his views of Trump’s culpability for the attack on the Capitol have evolved since January 2021, when he told GOP colleagues that Trump “bears responsibility for his words and actions ­— no if, ands or buts.” 

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) accused the Justice Department of waging a politically motivated prosecution to distract from a whistleblower’s claims that senior administration officials interfered with an Internal Revenue Service investigation of Hunter Biden.

“Now you see the Biden administration going after President Trump once again, and it begs that question, ‘Is there a double standard? Is justice being administered equally?’” Scalise asked at a press conference.  

Other Trump allies in the House joined the attack against the administration.  

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) claimed Biden’s Justice Department did little to prosecute Black Lives Matter protesters who breached a federal courthouse in 2020 or to prosecute threats against conservative Supreme Court justices. 

“But if you’re President Trump and do nothing wrong? PROSECUTE. Americans are tired of the double standard!” he tweeted.  

Another Trump ally, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), attacked Smith on Twitter as a “lousy attorney” and pointed to the Supreme Court overturning his conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). 

“He only targets Republicans because he’s a weak little bitch for the Democrats,” she tweeted. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asks a question during a hearing on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 to discuss the report from Special Counsel John Durham about the “Crossfire Hurricane” probe into allegations of contacts between Russia and former President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Senate Republicans, many of whom have made clear they don’t want to see Trump as the party’s nominee for president in 2024, however, broke with their House GOP colleagues over the claim that the Justice Department is operating a “two-tier” system and holding Trump to a special standard. 

“I think you’ve got to go where the facts lead you and determine whether or not laws are broken. But there shouldn’t be two systems of justice; everybody should be held accountable and there ought to be equal justice under the law,” Thune told reporters. 

“Clearly in these circumstances, it’s a politically charged environment. I think it puts an even higher burden of proof on the Justice Department given the perceptions that people have about that but this has got to be driven by the law and the facts,” he said.  

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

McConnell excoriated Trump on the Senate floor at the end of his 2021 impeachment trial for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol hallways and ransacked the Senate parliamentarian’s office. 

“There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day,” he declared, referring to the violence and chaos that resulted in injuries to more than 100 Capitol police officers.  

One officer, Brian Sicknick, died of natural causes while defending the Capitol.  

Thune said just because the Senate Republicans’ top leader called Trump “practically and morally” responsible, that did not necessarily warrant criminal charges.  

“Practically and morally is something very different than legally, and I think that’s what the Justice Department has to look at. They’ve got to look at the law, the facts as they’ve interviewed people, and then make a determination about whether laws were broken,” he said.   

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who voted twice to convict Trump on impeachment charges — including on the charge of inciting the Jan. 6 riot — warned his House GOP colleagues about relentlessly attacking the Justice Department.

He voiced concern about "the diminution of institutions in which we rely as a society." 

"A democracy works when we have confidence in the justice system, in the legal system, in our prosecutors and so forth. If we constantly attack and diminish them, that weakens the democracy," he said. 

Greene’s Freedom Caucus ousting underscores GOP-conservative tensions

House Republicans will return to Washington this week amid rising tensions between GOP leaders and hard-line conservatives, a dynamic highlighted by the House Freedom Caucus taking a vote to oust Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

The apparent purge marks a stunning development for Greene, a conservative icon and close ally of former President Trump who has also, more recently, cozied up to House GOP leaders at the expense of her standing among her own hard-line colleagues.

And it could create new headaches for Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has leaned on Greene’s firm support to shield him from conservative attacks throughout the year.

The “straw that broke the camel’s back,” Freedom Caucus board member Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) told reporters Thursday, was Greene calling Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) a “little bitch” on the House floor in June. 

But Harris also said that Greene’s close relationship with McCarthy, as well as her support for a debt ceiling deal the Speaker struck with President Biden over the objections of most Freedom Caucus members, all “mattered” in her ouster.

Greene told Breitbart News that she had not yet talked to House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-Pa.) about the vote, and questioned whether there was a quorum for the “impromptu” meeting.

But the vote itself has highlighted broader frictions between GOP leaders and far-right conservatives, who were wary of McCarthy’s speakership from the first days of the year, grew furious with his handling of the debt ceiling and are now eyeing tactics to force McCarthy to hold a tougher line on deficit reduction in the coming battle with Biden over federal spending.

Hanging over that debate is the threat of a government shutdown — and a possible challenge to McCarthy’s Speakership. 

McCarthy and some of his leadership allies huddled with roughly a dozen of the conservative detractors on the day Congress left Washington for the July 4 recess — an effort to ease tensions before the long break. Lawmakers on both sides of the debate left that meeting with hopes of coming together to pass all 12 appropriations bills through the lower chamber in time to prevent a shutdown at the end of September.

“We're making progress,” Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) said afterwards. “We'll be working on finding as many opportunities to cut federal spending as possible.”

Yet no deals were sealed, and winning the votes of the hard-liners — many of whom have opposed most of the spending bills they’ve faced in Congress — will be no easy task given the Republican’s slim House majority and the unanimous Democratic opposition to the GOP’s proposed cuts.

That internal GOP battle will be front and center as Congress returns to Capitol Hill, where Freedom Caucus members and their allies will focus the next three weeks on pressuring McCarthy and House leadership to pass spending bills at levels below the caps McCarthy agreed to in the debt ceiling deal — and rejecting what they call budgetary gimmicks, like rescinding previously approved funds, in order to achieve those lower levels.

Conservatives are also gearing up to pressure leadership on hot-button social issues in amendments to the annual defense authorization, which the House takes up next week. Among the nearly 1,500 amendments are proposals to ban the Defense Department from paying for abortion services or travel to a state where abortion is legal, and “anti-woke” measures like eliminating diversity and inclusion positions and initiatives.

Greene’s apparent ouster from the Freedom Caucus has sparked plenty of questions about the underlying reasons: Was it policy differences, personality disputes, a clash of allegiances, or some combination of the three? Harris said there were multiple factors at play, but neither Greene nor the Freedom Caucus will officially confirm her membership status or the motives behind the push to remove her.

In a statement responding to news of the vote to remove her, Greene said that she “serve[s] no group in Washington” and “will work with ANYONE” on her top priorities.

But coming in the midst of the spending fight, the vote to expel her — the first in the group’s eight-year history — is seen by some outside experts as just the latest example of the conservatives flexing their muscles in a razor-thin GOP majority. 

In doing so, they’ve sent a message to GOP leaders that they aim to use their considerable leverage to achieve their policy goals, particularly on federal spending. They’ve also sent a warning to their own members that there's a price to pay for siding with the conventional governing strategy adopted by McCarthy on issues like the debt ceiling that demand bipartisan support.

“That's what Marjorie Taylor Greene's problem [is] here,” Brendan Buck, former aide to past Speakers John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), told NBC News. “It's not so much that she's fighting with her colleagues. It’s that she's become an ally of the Speaker.”

Some other observers see the Freedom Caucus’s recent moves as tactical errors that will cause leadership to resist the group’s demands rather than embrace them.

“If I’m Scott Perry, this is the last thing I want making headlines leading into three weeks of session before the August recess,” a senior Republican aide told The Hill in response to news of Greene’s ouster. “All of the continuous drama surrounding [the House Freedom Caucus] has put their members at odds of getting any agenda items passed. It has to be tiring for leadership.”

In addition to moving to boot Greene, members of the group blocked legislative action on the House floor for a week in June over outrage about the debt ceiling bill and an alleged threat to keep legislation from coming to the floor. 

Later, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) and Boebert surprised leadership by making privileged motions to force action on flashy measures to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for his role in Trump investigations and to impeach Biden over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The GOP passed the measure to censure Schiff after leadership worked with Luna to adjust the language. Boebert’s effort didn’t fare as well —  House lawmakers opted to re-refer her impeachment articles to committees — but the Colorado firebrand is threatening to force floor votes once again if those panels don’t act on them. 

Harris, for his part, told reporters that Perry is a “true leader” and doing a “great job.”

And despite divisions on some issues, Freedom Caucus members say they are united on spending issues and their approach to securing cuts.

“We share a vision for reigning in wasteful government spending and re-focusing on the core functions of the government,” Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) told Punchbowl News last week. “There are more of us on Appropriations now than there have ever been and that gives us a little bit more insight into the process and how to influence the process.”

MAGA Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Was Expelled From the Conservative House Freedom Caucus

Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has aligned herself with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and launched verbal bombs at fellow conservatives on the chamber floor, has reportedly been expelled from the House Freedom Caucus.

The Freedom Caucus is the most conservative bloc within the House Republican Conference.

The news came from a statement by Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) to reporters.

“I mean, the vote was taken to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Freedom Caucus for some of the things she’s done,” Harris said.

Axios points out that Greene did not receive “formal notification of her removal” but confirmed that a vote had been held prior to the July 4th break and would have required “a sizable number of her colleagues supporting her ouster.”

She becomes the first member of the Caucus in their history to be voted out.

RELATED: MAGA Fight Consumes House Floor as Marjorie Taylor Greene Goes After Lauren Boebert, Calls Her a ‘Little B****’

What Led to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Ouster From the House Freedom Caucus?

Congressman Harris noted possible contributing factors to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ouster from the House Freedom Caucus – including her unabashed support for McCarthy, the duo’s support for the debt limit deal, and an altercation with fellow member, Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO).

“I think all of that mattered,” he said.

Greene hitched her cart to McCarthy after the GOP regained control of the House in a manner that has seen the two team up to scold MAGA reps and celebrate a debt ceiling agreement benefitting President Biden.

The Boebert incident to which Harris alludes was reported by The Political Insider late last month.

Greene and Boebert got into a heated exchange on the House floor, with reports suggesting the Georgia Congresswoman called her colleague a “little bitch.”

The two appeared to be bickering over their dueling efforts to impeach President Biden.

“I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was publicly saying things about another member in terms that no one should,” Harris explained.

RELATED: McCarthy, Senate Republicans Shrinking Away From Biden Impeachment Efforts, House Sidelines Vote

Greene Responds After Vote to Have Her Oustered

Marjorie Taylor Greene did not specifically address the vote to expel her from the House Freedom Caucus but did post to social media a video that appeared to mock the ongoing drama.

“Avoiding distractions is the key to staying focused,” she wrote.

The video showed her practicing on a putting green. No word on whether or not McCarthy was caddying for her.

Greene also released a statement that seemed to strongly reference the vote to remove her without mentioning it directly.

“In Congress, I serve Northwest Georgia first, and serve no group in Washington,” she said, seemingly unaware that she has been doing McCarthy and the centrist GOP’s bidding since January.

“My America First credentials, guided by my Christian faith, are forged in steel, seared into my character, and will never change,” added Greene.

No doubt she has a strong MAGA resume and does find a way to infuriate the left. But teaming up with McCarthy is not ‘America First.’ It’s closer to Ukraine First or Biden First than anything else.

Greene insists her sole focus is on moving the country forward “when President Trump wins the White House in 2024.”

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GOP hit list: Biden officials targeted by Republicans for impeachment

House Republicans are grappling over whether to move forward with impeaching President Biden and a host of his top officials, putting a spotlight on how the conference has turned to impeachment as a tool to target administration officials.

Republicans disagree over how hard to push for impeachment because some are worried the efforts could backfire after the party heavily criticized Democrats for their House impeachments of former President Trump.

Here’s a look at who House Republicans are targeting for impeachment, and why they are doing so.

President Biden

President Joe Biden speaks during an event about high speed internet infrastructure, in the East Room of the White House, Monday, June 26, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden speaks during a Monday event about high-speed internet infrastructure, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It’s far from clear that most Republicans want to move forward with impeachment proceedings against Biden.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) introduced a procedural measure to force a floor vote on her impeachment articles, which led to internal sparring and a days-long clash between GOP leaders and the congresswoman. The House voted to punt the resolution to committees and avoid making lawmakers vote on it on the floor.

The resolution, which many Republicans deemed as premature, accused Biden of “a complete and total invasion at the southern border.” The resolution includes two articles related to Biden’s handling of matters along the U.S.-Mexico border — one for dereliction of duty and one for abuse of power.

During the last Congress, GOP lawmakers in the minority introduced several impeachment resolutions against Biden, targeting him on immigration, the COVID pandemic and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Boebert’s move was an escalation that threatened to put vulnerable moderates in the caucus in a tough spot if they had to vote on it.

There are other voices in the GOP calling for Biden’s impeachment.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley told Fox News this week that congressional Republicans “absolutely should” look into impeachment. Her comments followed an IRS whistleblower’s claims about tax crime investigations into the president’s son Hunter Biden.

But Boebert’s push has been dismissed by some in her party as frivolous.

“I’ve got a pretty high bar for impeachment,” Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said last week. “I fear that snap impeachments will become the norm, and they mustn’t.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee answers a question during a hearing to discuss the President’s FY 2024 budget for the Department of Justice on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Greg Nash)

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) brought up impeaching Garland this week, tying it to the Department of Justice’s handling of the investigations into Hunter Biden.

McCarthy said an impeachment inquiry could be warranted over alleged political bias and DOJ “weaponization.” The push has been fueled by an IRS whistleblower’s claims, denied by Garland, that there was political interference in tax crime investigations into Hunter Biden.

“Someone has lied here,” McCarthy said Wednesday on Fox News. “If we find that Garland has lied to Congress, we will start an impeachment inquiry.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) filed articles of impeachment against Garland last summer over the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property for classified and sensitive documents.

“If the whistleblowers’ allegations are true, this will be a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland’s weaponization of DOJ,” McCarthy said in a tweet. 

McCarthy’s focus on Garland is a change in how he has handled calls from Republicans to impeach other members of the Biden administration. He has vowed any impeachment proceedings would not be political.

The White House has bashed the idea of a Garland impeachment inquiry, saying it is an effort to distract from the economy and other topics top of mind for Americans.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, ahead of the lifting of Title 42. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks at a March 10 news conference ahead of the lifting of Title 42. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Republicans, led by Greene and fellow Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Pat Fallon (Texas), have targeted Mayorkas with articles of impeachment over the flow of migrants at the southern border.

House Republicans have held multiple hearings focused on what they describe as Mayorkas’s “dereliction of duty,” and mishandling of border policy, pointing to surges of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border that set records in 2022.

“I just think that more and more people are starting to come around to the necessity to impeach the guy,” Biggs said.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) recently announced the panel would kick off a formal investigation of Mayorkas as a necessary step ahead of an impeachment inquiry.

The focus on Mayorkas has drawn criticism from Democrats who believe Republicans are resorting to impeachment over what amounts to a disagreement over immigration policy.

Homeland Security also has pushed back on GOP arguments over the border while largely blaming Congress for the problems.

The push to impeach Mayorkas has also been complicated by a drop in apprehensions at the southern border in the weeks after the Biden administration ended Title 42, which had been in place since 2020 and allowed for the rapid expulsion of migrants.

FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray gives an opening statement during an April 27 hearing to discuss President Biden's fiscal 2023 budget request for the FBI. (Greg Nash)

Greene in May said she would target Wray and introduce articles of impeachment against him. 

The congresswoman argued that Way turned the FBI into Biden and Garland’s “personal police force” and that the FBI has “intimidated, harassed, and entrapped” U.S. citizens who have been “deemed enemies of the Biden regime.”

While citing some FBI actions that she argued show the agency overreached, Greene referred to the plot that multiple men had in 2020 plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). She noted that two of the men were acquitted after defense attorneys argued that the FBI entrapped them and convinced them to engage in the conspiracy.

She also mentioned that the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property for classified and sensitive documents, arguing that the former president didn’t break any laws. Trump has been indicted by a Miami jury over his handling of the records.

Wray is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on July 12.

The hearing comes after the Republican-led House Oversight Committee threatened to hold Wray in contempt over his initial refusal to turn over a document detailing an unverified tip that GOP lawmakers claim shows then-Vice President Biden’s involvement in a bribery scheme. The panel later backed off its contempt threat.

The FBI and Justice Department as a whole have become common targets for conservatives, who have repeatedly claimed federal law enforcement is biased against Republicans and has been weaponized. Those claims have been supercharged by the federal indictment of Trump on charges over his retention of classified government documents after he left office.

McCarthy races to repair relationship with Trump

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is racing to mend fences with former President Trump after the GOP leader questioned Trump’s strength as a 2024 presidential contender — a comment he quickly walked back amid blowback from Trump world.

The Speaker’s cleanup effort — which has so far included a direct call to Trump, a subsequent media interview declaring Trump to be the strongest candidate, and an email blast to would-be donors amplifying that message — has illustrated the political dangers facing GOP leaders as they seek to balance Trump’s vast popularity against the baggage of his legal and ethical travails heading into the elections.

McCarthy’s scramble also reflects the influence Trump continues to wield among Republicans in the House, where more than 60 GOP lawmakers have already endorsed him in the presidential primary.

And it’s highlighted the fragile relationship between Trump and McCarthy, who needed the support of the former president to win the Speaker’s gavel in January and wants to remain in Trump’s good graces amid an internal battle with GOP hard-liners still wary of McCarthy’s commitment to conservative priorities.

More House coverage from The Hill

All of those factors appeared to collide during an interview with CNBC on Tuesday morning, when McCarthy — while noting that Trump can beat Biden in 2024 — said he was unsure if the former president was the “strongest” candidate to do so, sparking pushback from some on the right and reportedly angering those in the former president's orbit.

McCarthy quickly entered cleanup mode. Within hours, he had told the conservative Breitbart News in an interview that “Trump is stronger today than he was in 2016,” sent out sent out fundraising blasts that declared Trump “Biden’s strongest opponent” and, according to The New York Times, placed a call to Trump for a conversation that sources characterized as an apology.

The stunning episode — which played out in less than 24 hours — highlights the delicate balancing act McCarthy is forced to perform when it comes to matters involving Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner who helped him secure the Speaker’s gavel in January and still holds a firm grip on much of the House Republican conference.

But whether or not McCarthy’s efforts Wednesday were enough to land him back in Trump’s good graces remains to be seen.

Politico reported Wednesday that Trump’s team — which is known for controlling who is allowed to raise money off the ex-president’s name — asked McCarthy to remove his fundraising pitch that mentioned Trump, a blast that was part of his damage control.

Trump himself, however, has not yet commented on McCarthy’s 180.

A Trump-world source acknowledged there was “certainly annoyance” with McCarthy’s comment on CNBC but added that Trump was “pleased” with the Speaker’s Breitbart interview, suggesting that reports of severe tensions were exaggerated.

“I think some of this has been overblown. While there was certainly annoyance over his comment, it wasn’t lost on people that the bulk of the interview was McCarthy defending Trump, and most importantly, Trump himself was pleased with the interview McCarthy gave Breitbart yesterday,” the source said.

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Congressional Republicans also sought to downplay the rift.

Rep. Ken Buck (Colo.), one of the GOP lawmakers who revolted against Republican House leadership earlier this month, suggested that McCarthy meant it would be difficult to name Trump the strongest candidate now, when the Republican field is still developing.

“Does another candidate rise and show that sort of personality, that sort of strength of character that he would be willing to take on the swamp? That’s yet to be seen. And I think that’s what Kevin was saying, is this is a long time that we’re gonna see between now and the primary elections,” Buck told CNN in an interview Tuesday night.

“And so it’s hard to say that Donald Trump is gonna be the strongest candidate in the future. It’s really a hypothetical and calls for speculation. But right now, Donald Trump is definitely the strongest candidate,” he added.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.)

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) arrives for an event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. (Greg Nash)

Like McCarthy himself, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — a close ally of both Trump and the Speaker — pinned the conflict on the media, accusing reporters of blowing GOP divisions out of proportion.

“The media’s specialty is dividing Republicans. It’s time for Republicans to stop being sucked into playing the dumb game. Defeat the Democrat’s America Last agenda and save America,” Greene wrote on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

Democrats, for their part, see McCarthy’s backtrack as more evidence of the strong influence Trump has on the Speaker and his GOP conference.

“Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, they control the Republican Party and, you know, you can see it every day,” Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) told The Hill on Wednesday. “Kevin McCarthy can barely hold on to his Speakership, and so he is going to, you know, bow down to whatever Donald Trump wants him to do — I mean, you saw a good example of that in that back-and-forth.”

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.)

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) speaks during a Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs hearing with a quotation from the Office of the Inspector General behind him at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

The relationship between Trump and McCarthy has been complicated since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, for which Trump was impeached. McCarthy, then the House minority leader, voted against that impeachment but also accused Trump of bearing “responsibility” for the rampage.

Yet when most Republicans, including those in Congress, made clear they were sticking behind Trump, McCarthy quickly reversed course, visiting Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida a few weeks later to patch things up — a recognition that he needed Trump’s support to rise to the Speakership. 

The more recent squabble between Trump and McCarthy comes after somewhat of a honeymoon period between the two top Republicans.

Shortly after McCarthy secured the speaker’s gavel in January — following a 15-ballot vote — the California Republican thanked Trump for helping him win the top job, telling reporters, “I don’t think anybody should doubt his influence.”

In a now-infamous photo, Greene is seen handing a phone on a call with “DT” to Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), one of McCarthy’s detractors.

And earlier this month, when McCarthy struck a deal with Biden to raise the debt limit, Trump did not join other conservatives in criticizing the deal — as other 2024 GOP candidates did — sparing McCarthy from the challenge of wrangling enough votes amid Trump's opposition.

McCarthy, meanwhile, has appeared to pay back the favor in his first six months as Speaker, catering to Trump’s best interests on a number of occasions.

His committee chairmen launched an investigation into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after he indicted Trump, requested information from special counsel Jack Smith as he closed in on his own charges and, just last week, McCarthy endorsed an effort to expunge Trump’s first and second impeachments.

“It should never have gone through,” he said of both impeachment votes. 

Brett Samuels contributed.

White House picks fight with Greene over funding

The White House is picking a fight with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) after her hometown newspaper in Floyd County touted federal public safety grants the area was set to receive through the American Rescue Plan.

Greene, along with every other House Republican, voted against the American Rescue Plan in March 2021.

The White House took a shot at Greene over that vote after the Rome News-Tribune in Greene’s district ran an article on the front page Tuesday that highlighted a more than $1 million federal public safety grant the Floyd County Commission is set to accept.

“President Biden is proud of the resources he’s provided to stand up for the rule of law, crack down on gun crimes, and keep cops on the beat in Floyd County – and across the country,” White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson said in a statement first provided to The Hill.

“Unlike Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene who voted against this funding, as well as to defund federal law enforcement and fire thousands of Border Patrol agents, President Biden is committed to ensuring law enforcement has the resources they need to keep Northwest Georgians safe,” she added.

The money is appropriated through the Public Safety and Community Violence Reduction grant program, which is funded by the American Rescue Plan and meant to address violent gun crime and community violence that increased as a result of COVID-19.

Greene on Wednesday called the White House’s comment “ignorant” and railed against Biden’s handling of the situation at the border.

“Since taking office, Joe Biden’s blatant violation of our border laws has caused a flood of over 5,000,000 illegal aliens into our country, allowed 85,000 trafficked children to go missing, and murdered hundreds of Americans each day with Mexican cartel-smuggled Chinese-made fentanyl. Our district doesn’t face a crime epidemic, but we are feeling the real effects of Biden’s border crisis. My constituents are dying due to the drugs he allows into our country,” Greene said in a statement to The Hill.

“The flippant comment from the White House would be laughable if it wasn’t so ignorant of what Northwest Georgia faces due to border invasion created by Joe Biden,” she added.

Tuesday is not the first time that the White House has gone after Greene, a firebrand Republican congresswoman who has emerged as one of Biden’s top critics on Capitol Hill.

Greene has introduced impeachment articles against Biden. Last week, she voted with Republicans to refer a resolution to impeach Biden over the situation at the southern border to two congressional committees.

In March, during the House Democratic retreat in Baltimore, Biden mocked Greene while delivering remarks to lawmakers, asking the crowd of the Georgia Republican “isn’t she amazing?”

And last month, White House spokesperson Ian Sams circulated a memo that criticized House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Greene for their “bizarre focus” on Biden and his family members.

More generally, the White House has accused House Republicans of opposing funding for law enforcement with their votes against the American Rescue Plan and of cutting funding for border security when they supported the debt limit plan the conference approved in April.

Last August, the White House wrote on Twitter, “Every single Republican in Congress voted against funding for law enforcement in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.” And last month, the White House circulated a memo arguing Republicans were gutting border security with their debt limit bill.

The accusation that Republicans are defunding the police through their vote against the American Rescue Plan, however, has been contested. The Washington Post’s fact checker awarded the claim three pinocchios in 2021.

Alex Gangitano and Brett Samuels contributed. Updated on June 28 at 12:16 p.m.

McCarthy, Senate Republicans Shrinking Away From Biden Impeachment Efforts, House Sidelines Vote

This may come as a surprise, but it’s glaringly apparent that Republican leadership does not have the stomach to pursue the impeachment of President Joe Biden.

MAGA Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) leveraged a procedural tool earlier this week to force a vote on an impeachment resolution. The resolution alleges Biden violated his oath by failing to enforce immigration laws and secure the southern border.

In a strictly party-line vote, 219-208, the House voted Thursday to send the matter to a pair of congressional committees – the House Homeland Security and Judiciary – for possible consideration.

Sounds good, right?

Except, as the Associated Press points out, those committees “are under no obligation to do anything.”

They describe the effort as having “pushed off” the impeachment resolution, while Reuters reports that the House has “sidelined” the measure.

RELATED: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Pre-Surrenders, Saying GOP Won’t Impeach Biden

Shrinking Violets: Republicans Retreating From Biden Impeachment

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been trying to tamp down impeachment efforts from firebrand GOP lawmakers Boebert and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Greene (R-GA) has announced plans for similar impeachment initiatives against Biden, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, the attorney prosecuting January 6 participants.

McCarthy, meanwhile, urged Republicans to oppose Boebert’s resolution, saying, “I don’t think it’s the right thing to do” and citing a need for investigation and following the traditional process.

McCarthy is being true to form, so long as you listen very carefully to what he says. Just a couple of weeks before the midterm elections he wasn’t a fan of impeaching President Biden.

“I think the country doesn’t like impeachment used for political purposes at all,” said McCarthy. “If anyone ever rises to that occasion, you have to, but I think the country wants to heal and … start to see the system that actually works.”

Perhaps he doesn’t recall that Democrats didn’t give a rip about whether or not former President Donald Trump “rose to the occasion of impeachment,” going after him twice for requesting an investigation of corruption in Ukraine and for telling people to protest peacefully at the Capitol.

Considering recent news, Trump’s ask for an investigation was perfectly legitimate.

Perhaps Greene should have been directing her recent remarks about Boebert to the Speaker instead.

RELATED: MAGA Fight Consumes House Floor as Marjorie Taylor Greene Goes After Lauren Boebert, Calls Her a ‘Little B****’

Senate Republicans Too

A new Axios report indicates Senate Republicans are also a bit squeamish about pursuing President Biden’s impeachment. Several top GOP senators – members of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership team – are quoted as being in opposition.

  • Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) – “I don’t know what they’re basing the president’s impeachment on … I can’t imagine going down that road.”
  • John Thune (R-SD) – “I’d rather focus on the policy agenda, the vision for the future, and go on and win elections.”
  • Steve Daines (R-MT) – Hasn’t “seen evidence that would rise to an impeachable offense.”

Senator Daines – You haven’t seen any evidence?! Perhaps a visit to the optometrist is in order.

The border crisis, Afghanistan withdrawal, the criminal pursuit of political opponents, colluding with school boards to treat parents like terrorists, corruption and bribery, an obvious lack of mental acuity? Do any of these things ring a bell?

What is the point of the Republican party right now? Can anybody explain what they’re doing?

Perhaps these Republican squishes should listen to the words of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) who pointed out that it was the Democrats who opened Pandora’s Box when it comes to impeachment.

“Whether it’s justified or not, the Democrats weaponized impeachment. They used it for partisan purposes to go after Trump because they disagreed with him,” Cruz said.

It’s time the GOP exercised its own power. Their colleagues on the other side of the aisle didn’t hesitate to take down Trump’s presidency. They won’t hesitate to do the same if a Republican wins the White House in 2024.

Grow a spine.

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The Memo: Boebert’s ‘frankly stupid’ impeachment push leads to GOP groans, Dem glee

A quixotic push by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) to impeach President Biden was placed on the back burner Thursday. But even some Republican insiders fear the damage might already have been done.

Boebert, one of the fiercest among the GOP’s right-wing firebrands, surprised many of her colleagues by introducing an impeachment resolution earlier this week. The move caused disarray in the House Republican conference, and the furor was only defused with a deal to send the resolution for consideration by committees.

The move, passed in a 219-208 vote Thursday, places no obligation on the committees to do anything to advance Boebert’s proposal. But she is insistent that, if it becomes clear the gambit is solely about delay, she will bring up her resolution “every day for the rest of my time here in Congress.”

Meanwhile, more moderate Republicans are wincing at what they consider an unforced political error that will give Democrats ammunition to attack the GOP as extreme and out of touch.

Republican strategist Dan Judy described the move as “frankly stupid,” adding, “the party needs to be focused on the problems facing Americans rather than this sideshow.”

Most polls, to be sure, show American voters' main concerns are the economy and inflation, as well as a host of other matters barely related to the effort to impeach the president.

But that doesn’t mean there will be an end to impeachment efforts, given that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga) has her own efforts to impeach not only Biden, but Attorney General Merrick Garland, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Matthew Graves, the U.S. district attorney for the District of Columbia.

Adding to this week’s spectacle, Boebert and Greene got into a heated verbal exchange on the House floor Wednesday. Several observers contended Greene called Boebert a “little bitch.” Greene also reportedly accused Boebert of copying her on impeachment. 

Boebert, for her part, has shot back that she doesn’t want to get involved in “middle school” antics.

Democrats are agog at disputes like that one — but also convinced that the politics of the matter will play to their advantage.

Democratic strategist Mark Longabaugh declared himself amazed at “the degree to which the Republicans will figure out a way to self-destruct.”

He argued the specific danger was that performative efforts such as a push to impeach Biden would turn off independent and moderate voters. 

While he acknowledged such voters have become fewer as the United States has become more polarized, he contended that they "still are a decisive part of winning any general election. And it’s very, very clear that those moderate, swing voters are just not interested in all these Republican shenanigans.”

Some Republicans shoot back that Democrats twice impeached then-President Trump — and they note that, separate from those moves, some Democratic members made solo runs aimed at the same goal.

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) tried at least three times to impeach Trump, for example. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) introduced five articles of impeachment against Trump in November 2017, before the 45th president had even rung up a full year in office.

But Democrats note that such measures died swiftly, and further contend that the MAGA wing of the GOP has a firmer grip on today’s Republican Party than the progressive left has on congressional Democrats.

They point not only to Boebert’s impeachment effort but to the mini-uprising that stalled normal business in the House recently, after hard-right members including Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) balked at issues including the compromises Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had made on spending in order to win a debt ceiling deal with Biden.

There is still the possibility that ultraconservative unhappiness over those compromises could result in a government shutdown closer to the end of the year.

“It’s not just the impeachment, but this whole pattern of things,” said Democratic strategist Robert Shrum. 

He included allegations of “Deep State” malfeasance, as well as attacks even on some judges and investigators appointed by former Trump, as evidence of this pattern.

Shrum added that any government shutdown would be “catastrophic for the Republican Party.”

Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), speaking in the House on Thursday, accused Republicans involved in bringing the impeachment resolution to the floor of “dishonoring this House and dishonoring themselves.”

According to The Associated Press, McGovern added that the House had "become a place where extreme, outlandish and nutty issues get debated passionately, and important ones not at all.”

Even some Republicans who are uneasy with Boebert’s actions argue that the political impact should not be exaggerated. They contend the episode might fade from voters’ minds fast enough.

But it’s notable that the effort was seen as causing severe discomfort for the 18 House Republicans who represent districts won by Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

And Boebert’s push also gives more fuel to the president’s argument about the supposed extremism of “ultra-MAGA Republicans” — a label that was effective during last year’s midterms.

Still, there seems no chance of Boebert backing down. 

“Last Congress, I watched my impeachment articles collect dust in Pelosi’s office,” she tweeted Thursday afternoon. “This Congress, action had to be taken!”

The Memo is a reported column by Niall Stanage.