As House Republicans’ impeachment drumbeat grows louder, White House officials are focused on whether House Speaker Kevin McCarthy can summon enough votes to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the White House’s thinking.
“That’s the first question on the table,” one of those people told CNN, suggesting that new comments by McCarthy appeared to raise the bar for an impeachment to go forward.
McCarthy told Breitbart News that pursuing an impeachment of Biden would require a formal vote on the House floor, “not a declaration by one person” – an apparent reference to members such as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has issued multiple demands in recent days that Republicans move forward with impeaching Biden in exchange for other policy demands.
House members are scheduled to return to Washington from their August recess on September 12.
Meanwhile, the White House has spent over a year assembling a team of more than two dozen legal, legislative and communications experts to field the expanding portfolio of investigations launched by House Republicans since retaking the chamber’s majority in early 2023. The White House, in anticipation of the potential shift in power, hired top Veterans Affairs attorney Dick Sauber to spearhead the Biden administration’s response, as CNN reported at the time.
Sauber, deputy counsel to the president, was joined shortly after by Russell Anello, a former House staff counsel who worked in a similar role crafting the Obama administration’s response Republican-led investigations.
Sauber and Anello lead the White House Counsel’s Office’s current response team, which meets multiple times a week, a second person familiar with the thinking said.