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Joni Ernst cites discredited conspiracy theory to claim Joe Biden could be impeached if elected president

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Senator Ernst speaks on the U.S. Senate floor, discussing her proposal to reauthorize and modernize the Violence Against Women Act. Nov. 20, 2019. — video still

Sen. Joni Ernst told Bloomberg News that Joe Biden might immediately face impeachment if elected president.

Ernst claimed that the impeachment of Donald Trump had so lowered the threshold for impeachment that Biden could be impeached for actions he may have taken years before becoming president. She also repeated a discredited conspiracy theory about Biden.

“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” Ernst said in an interview published by Bloomberg on Sunday. “Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, ‘Well, we’re going to impeach him.’”

Trump was impeached for actions related to his attempt to get President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden over phony corruption charges that Trump has been promoting in order to damage the former vice president as a 2020 presidential candidate.

Ernst cited those same Trump claims — of Biden “turning a blind eye” to Ukrainian corruption to benefit his son — as the basis for a possible impeachment of Biden. In fact, Biden had pressured the Ukrainian government to be more aggressive in investigating corruption.

Last week, Ernst gleefully suggested that the repetition of Trump’s false charges about Biden during the impeachment trial in the Senate might hurt Biden’s chances in the Iowa Caucus.

Ernst has emerged as one of Trump’s most enthusiastic defenders during the impeachment trial, going from one TV camera crew to another as soon as each trial session, repeating a pro-Trump talking point.

The threat to impeach Biden echoes a threat Republican congressional leaders made in 2016, when they suggested impeaching Hillary Clinton if she became president for events that occurred when she was secretary of state in the Obama administration. The charges alleged by those congressional leaders had already been established as false, but as with Ernst, that didn’t stop them.


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