House Speaker Kevin McCarthy went viral Thursday after going on the offensive in response to an Associated Press reporter’s skeptical questions about the Biden impeachment inquiry.
McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave the green light to the investigation into the extent of President Biden’s role in his son and brother’s business dealings in foreign countries on Tuesday, as the House returned to Washington after a six-week recess in August.
Two days later, the AP’s Farnoush Amiri asked about statements by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) that he had seen no evidence of an impeachable offense by Biden “at this time.”
“Is that an assessment you share?” she asked.
“You know, an impeachment inquiry is not an impeachment trial,” McCarthy responded. “What an impeachment inquiry should do is get answers to the questions.”
The speaker then turned the tables on Amiri.
“Are you worried about everything that was recently learned? Do you have any concerns? McCarthy asked the reporter. “Have you asked the White House any questions?”
“Yes,” Amiri replied.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday defended his decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. AP
“It’s okay,” McCarthy said. “Do you agree that he believes the president lied to the American public when he said he had never spoken to his son about business? Yes or no, it’s okay.”
“I can’t answer that,” Amiri said.
“Can’t you answer that? Do you believe when they said the president held conference calls? Do you think that happened? McCarthy asked.
“That’s what the testimony says,” the journalist responded, referring to the statements of Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Devon Archer.
“Okay, do you think the president went to Café Milano and had dinner with Hunter Biden’s clients, who you think got those clients because he was selling ‘the brand,'” McCarthy added.
AP journalist Farnoush Amiri asked McCarthy about his fellow Republicans’ assessment that there is still no evidence of impeachable crimes against the president. AP Images
“That’s what the testimony said,” the journalist repeated.
“Okay, do you believe Hunter Biden, when he saw the video of him driving a Porsche, that he received $143,000 to buy that Porsche the next day?” McCarthy asked. “Do you think $3 million was produced from the Russian oligarch and transferred to shell companies controlled by the Bidens after dinner at Café Milano?
After Amiri confirmed the existence of testimony to that effect, McCarthy said, “Okay, I’ll be back then. Do you think the president lied when he said that…?
Biden is accused of helping his son secure foreign business deals while serving as vice president. AP
“But is lying an impeachable crime?” -Amiri asked.
“I’m not saying impeachment,” McCarthy responded. “All I’m saying is that I would like to know the answer to these questions. “The American public would like to know.”
Republican operative Arthur Schwartz shared the exchange between Amiri and McCarthy in X, formerly known as Twittercriticizing the journalist for the formulation of her initial question to McCarthy.
“You understand that testimony is evidence, right? “So what is it, are you stupid or dishonest?” Schwartz tweeted.
The AP reported that the impeachment inquiry into McCarthy was launched “without evidence.” Here we see McCarthy forcing an AP reporter to admit that there was plenty of evidence to support an impeachment inquiry. pic.twitter.com/lgzU1BNNlE
—Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 14, 2023
Republican operative Arthur Schwartz shared a video of the exchange, criticizing the journalist for the formulation of her initial question.
“‘Lying is an impeachable crime,'” Spectator contributing editor Stephen L. Miller posted on X. “Oh, sweet summer girl…”
A Twitter user named Dave Marney praised McCarthy for standing his ground and challenging the journalist.
“Yes, that’s how you do it: just stay calm and respectful, get the facts and then challenge them to say whether they accept those facts or not,” Marney tweeted.
McCarthy said the impeachment inquiry will look into key allegations against the president and see if he lied to the American people. AP
The Associated Press said in a statement that it endorsed Amiri, “an established and respected journalist who covers the US Congress.”
Biden has downplayed the investigation against him, claiming during a campaign speech in Virginia that Republicans were simply attacking him in hopes of shutting down the government.
While the impeachment inquiry does not necessarily mean Biden will be impeached, the articles of impeachment are expected to be drafted and considered later this year or early next year.