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President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Afghanistan in the East Room of The White House in Washington, DC on August 16, 2021. The Afghanistan issue is front and center in the latest impeachment filing against the president.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Afghanistan in the East Room of The White House in Washington, DC on August 16, 2021. The Afghanistan issue is front and center in the latest impeachment filing against the president. (Oliver Contreras/Pool/ABACAPRESS.COM/TNS)

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — Four House Republicans have filed articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden, accusing him of failures in Afghanistan and at the border and of abusing his power by extending a pandemic-related freeze on evictions.

Texas Reps. Brian Babin and Randy Weber joined the effort, led by Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona also signed on.

Their resolution closely mirrors impeachment resolutions pushed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, the Georgia Republican whose peddling of QAnon and other conspiracy theories prompted the GOP caucus to shun her.

"Since January 20, 2021, Joe Biden has done nothing but launch our nation into a state of retrograde and increased vulnerability while thwarting the rule of law at every turn," Babin said Thursday, announcing his support for impeachment. "He has failed miserably at his duties as Commander-in-Chief and violated his oath of office to defend the U.S. Constitution."

Democrats control the House, albeit by a narrow majority. Just a handful of Republicans have expressed support for impeaching Biden.

So there is no chance the effort will come to a floor vote, let alone result in a Senate trial.

Like all but 10 House Republicans, those pushing for Biden's impeachment voted against impeaching Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

It's the sixth resolution seeking Biden's impeachment filed since he took office. All were referred to the Judiciary Committee and have not been heard from since.

At this point in Donald Trump's presidency only one impeachment resolution had been filed, attracting support from just two lawmakers, both Democrats: Reps. Al Green of Houston and Brad Sherman of California. That related to Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into whether Trump's 2016 campaign had colluded with Russia.

"While Texas Republicans waste time and taxpayer money playing political games, House Democrats are busy doing the hard work of governing," Monica Robinson, spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Friday. "Stunts like this one, from the party that inspired the deadly insurrection on our Capitol, are a pointless distraction from the real work Democrats are doing to support middle-class families and rebuild our nation's infrastructure."

The impeachment resolution filed this week includes three articles alleging that Biden:

—was derelict in his duty to protect against invasion "by halting construction of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving Border Patrol agents to fend for themselves in the effort to secure our borders," and because he "knowingly released migrants having tested positive for COVID–19 from Border Patrol custody and into the United States."

—overreached his authority when he extended by 60 days a moratorium on evictions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

—"abandoned thousands of Americans" in Afghanistan and even "aided and abetted the enemy by failing to secure or destroy American-donated military equipment as Taliban forces overtook territory in Afghanistan, leaving billions of dollars' worth of military hardware in the hands of enemy soldiers.

"I could not stand by while Biden commits flagrant and deliberate violations of his oath of office," Gibbs tweeted.

On Sept. 10, Weber filed his own resolution of impeachment asserting that Biden, "by perpetuating a false perception that the Afghan security forces were winning the war against the Taliban," had manipulated public opinion ahead of the U.S. withdrawal and "demonstrated that he is a threat to national security."

Two Republicans from Georgia and Maryland signed on.

"While in the past I had been loath to invoke impeachment in the absence of a clear demonstration of `high crimes and misdemeanors,' the standard established in the U.S. Constitution, I considered this act to have overstepped that line. The Democrat majority, in the previous Congress, impeached then-President Trump on far less substantive grounds," Weber said.

Green, the conspiracy theorist from Georgia, filed the first impeachment resolution against Biden on Jan. 21 – the day after his inauguration.

The resolution has drawn no co-sponsors. It accused Biden of "blatant nepotism" and bribery related to his son Hunter Biden's service on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.

Green tried again on Aug. 23, with three separate resolutions on the same topics wrapped into this week's resolution filed by the Texans and their allies.

One Green resolution, which drew five co-sponsors, asserts that Biden "endangered the people of the United States by allowing illegal aliens who had tested positive for COVID-19 to enter the country and infect American citizens" and "willfully refused to maintain operational control of the border," and that

It also addresses Afghanistan, with allegations tracked closely by this week's: "By carelessly withdrawing the American military from Afghanistan and leaving billions of dollars of military assets in the hands of terrorists to be used against us. … President Biden has empowered the Taliban, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood, among others, to threaten America, American citizens, and her security interests."

A second Aug. 23 resolution from Green focuses only on those Afghanistan allegations; that drew seven co-sponsors.

The third Green resolution from Aug. 23 drew two Republican co-sponsors. It focused on the Biden administration's order extending the moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic through Oct. 3.

The resolution asserted, inaccurately, that the U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled June 29 that only Congress could extend the moratorium. In fact, that was not part of the ruling, only part of a concurring opinion from one justice, Brett Kavanaugh.

The new impeachment resolution levels the same assertion, that Biden "violated the separation of powers by extending the moratorium despite the clear warning from the U.S. Supreme Court."

Gibbs wrote GOP colleagues in early August trying to drum up support for impeachment based on Biden's "blatant dereliction" on border security, and for the extension of the eviction moratorium. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan had not yet played out.

He differentiated the effort to remove Biden from Trump's two impeachment trials, casting those as baseless and "politically motivated."

"As conservatives and Republicans, I believe we understand impeachment is a serious constitutional mechanism, meant to be used only in the rarest and most grave circumstances," Gibbs wrote his colleagues. "Sadly, we saw our Democrat colleagues debase it and use it as a talking point for electoral gain."

Weber, explaining his vote against Trump's impeachment in January, said it would "antagonize half of the electorate and recklessly embolden the other half."

Babin called the Trump impeachment "reckless and futile" when he voted against it. He accused Democrats of peddling a "flat-out lie" that Trump incited the Jan. 6 attack, while asserting that Trump's victory had been stolen through "blatant election irregularities."

"Never have I witnessed our Constitution be so trampled on for the sole purpose of the maintenance of political power," he said.

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©2021 The Dallas Morning News.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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