House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden already has administration officials acting annoyed and lying more than usual.
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fielded questions from reporters for the first time since House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday announced the inquiry into what he called a “culture of corruption” surrounding Biden and his family over son Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
“Fielded” becomes the operative word here. In fact, Jean-Pierre deflected impeachment questions and then bolted the podium while ignoring one reporter who asked about the president’s interactions with his son Hunter’s “foreign business associates.”
Over the course of her 15-minute news conference, Jean-Pierre’s mounting irritation became palpable.
At first, she appeared confident in her talking points.
For instance, she referred to a “baseless inquiry that the House Republicans can’t even really defend themselves.” This reflected the White House’s initial strategy of pointing to a handful of House Republicans who have wavered on impeachment.
She then moved on to “Bidenomics,” a laughable shorthand for a subject in which the reporters showed no interest. Impeachment questions kept coming.
The Republicans have no evidence, she insisted. “And that’s because the president didn’t do anything wrong.”
Later, she claimed that the inquiry is “not about the truth. There is no truth here.”
Such categorical assertions of the president’s innocence do raise eyebrows. One wonders if Jean-Pierre herself believes them.
In any case, one reporter mercifully redirected the conversation to recent natural disasters in Morocco and Libya. Here the beleaguered press secretary read from a prepared statement that expressed condolences and promised pecuniary relief to victims. No doubt the people of Maui would have appreciated something similar last month.
Alas, another pesky reporter raised the impeachment issue again.
“You suggested that there’s no evidence to back up the Republicans –” the reporter’s question began before interruption from the podium.
“Which is true. I’m not suggesting it. That’s actually a fact,” Jean-Pierre interjected.