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The House of Marjorie Taylor Greene
Over the weekend, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threatened to launch an impeachment inquiry against Attorney General Merrick Garland. The ostensible reason for the announcement was the allegations of an IRS whistleblower, Gary Shapley, who claims that the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, was not permitted to charge Hunter Biden in DC courts. "I'm not the deciding official on whether charges are filed," Weiss said, according to Shapley.
Shapley's claims appear to contradict the public statements of Weiss and Garland. In a June 7 letter to Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Weiss wrote that "I have been granted ultimate authority over [the Hunter Biden] matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges." In a press conference Friday, Garland maintained that Weiss "was given complete authority to make all decisions on his own." That authority included the ability "to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to."
Weiss did charge Hunter Biden with two misdemeanor tax crimes for failure to pay taxes in 2018 and 2019. But Shapley believes Weiss was blocked from pursuing felony charges over a longer time horizon.
Weiss, a Trump appointee who was assigned the Hunter Biden matter during the Trump administration, would be an unlikely participant in a scheme to lie to Congress and cover up a corrupt prosecution. Of course, it is possible that the Hunter Biden investigation was not conducted ethically. But McCarthy does not have evidence that the investigation was conducted unethically, much less evidence of Garland's involvement.
And yet McCarthy seems prepared to barrel ahead with an impeachment inquiry targeting Garland. McCarthy says that, if Shapley's claims are true, they "will be a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland's weaponization of [the] DOJ." The implication is, even if Shapley's claims prove false, a "larger impeachment inquiry" of Garland will move forward.
In pushing Garland's impeachment for the "weaponization of the DOJ," McCarthy is advancing the agenda of Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Previously, Greene was known for promoting unhinged conspiracy theories, bigotry, and violent rhetoric. But she played a key role in securing the votes for McCarthy to become speaker. Greene is still an extremist, but now she is one of the most powerful members of the House and maintains a close relationship with McCarthy.
On May 15, Greene introduced articles of impeachment against Garland, alleging that Garland is "facilitating the weaponization and politicization of the United States justice system against the American people" and "engaged in abuse of power by becoming a tool of the Biden regime’s two-tiered justice system." Among other things, Greene's impeachment resolution says that Garland should be impeached for prosecuting the January 6 rioters instead of "Antifa."
Rather than focusing on prosecuting Antifa and Black Lives Matters rioters that have desecrated American cities and caused billions of dollars worth of public and private property damage, Attorney General Garland has overseen the persecution of Americans for participating in political protest.
Greene also says Biden should be impeached for "persecuting" Trump, even though Biden has appointed a special counsel to lead the investigation.
In previous years, Greene's impeachment resolution might have been ignored by Congressional leaders. Today, Greene is calling the shots. “I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy reportedly said of Greene. “I will always take care of her.”
This woman has McCarthy's ear
Greene is notorious for repeating and amplifying conspiracy theories, including QAnon. Following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern America, Greene “suggested that the shooting might have been staged.” She made a similar comment about the Parkland school shooting, calling it a “false flag” by the government. “I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control,” Greene claimed in a Facebook post. She also endorsed the conspiracy “that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was videotaped murdering a child during a satanic ritual and she then ordered a hit on a police officer who had seen the video to cover it up.”
In 2018, Green blamed the California wildfires on space lasers controlled by the Rothschild family, who are Jewish. Previously, Greene has also suggested that 9/11 was staged and has called QAnon “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.” In 2021, Greene claimed she stopped believing in some of these false conspiracies—but she has yet to offer an apology. Just this month, Greene suggested that her TV was spying on her.
Greene also has a history of racism, anti-semitism, and islamophobia. In 2022, the lawmaker spoke in person at the America First Political Action Conference, a convention organized by white nationalist Nick Fuentes. She addressed the crowd as “canceled Americans” and told them that they’ve “been handed the responsibility to fight for our Constitution and stand for our freedoms.” Greene insisted at first that she did “not know Nick Fuentes,” but eventually went on to defend her participation. She criticized the “establishment” for canceling the white nationalist group and spun attacks against her as “identity politics.”
She’s also been photographed alongside Chester Doles, a former KKK leader and member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. In 2019, Greene called George Soros, a Holocaust survivor and billionaire philanthropist, a “Nazi.” She has also speculated that the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was an “inside job.”
In 2018, when the first two Muslim women were elected to Congress, Greene argued it was part of an “Islamic invasion.” According to Greene, “anyone that is a Muslim that believes in Sharia law does not belong in our government.” She filmed herself trying to get Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to retake their oaths on a Bible.
Greene is also known for her staunch anti-LGBTQ views. Last year, she baselessly claimed that “in about four or five generations, no one will be straight anymore. Everyone will be either gay or trans or non-conforming.” She believes transgender people should not be allowed to use public restrooms, tweeted that discussing gender identity with your children is “child abuse,” and once said during a speech that supporters of same-sex marriage “don’t love God.” Earlier this year, Greene co-sponsored a federal book ban bill that would restrict access to books discussing LGBTQ topics.
In 2018 and 2019, Greene has expressed open support for “executing prominent Democratic politicians." On her Facebook page, she liked a comment that called for a “civil war 2.0” to begin, another comment that said “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Nancy Pelosi, and several comments that urged for the hanging of officials, among others. In 2019, when recruiting attendees for a “Fund the Wall” march, Greene urged her supporters to “flood the Capitol building” and “use violence” if we have to. She’s also said that if she and Steve Bannon organized the January 6 insurrection they “would have won” and “would’ve been armed.”
Greene leads, McCarthy follows
McCarthy has adopted numerous policies originally pitched by Greene. Greene told the New York Times that McCarthy’s agenda, “if he sticks to it, will easily vindicate me and prove I moved the conference to the right during my first two years when I served in the minority with no committees.”
On May 18, 2021, Greene called the commission investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection a “big smoke screen and witch hunt.” According to the New York Times, Greene told McCarthy that many “many people imprisoned for their actions during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol were being victimized” and called for a reinvestigation of the Capitol insurrection “to show what she has called ‘the other side of the story.’”
On November 16, 2022, the New York Times reported that Greene and other right-wing lawmakers “extracted a promise that their leaders would investigate Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Justice Department for their treatment of defendants jailed in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol” in a closed-door meeting. Just over two weeks later, on November 30, 2022, McCarthy sent a letter to the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, “demanding that it preserve all records and transcripts and vowing to hold hearings next year on the security failures that led to the US Capitol breach.”
Greene also vehemently opposed sending money to Ukraine, tweeting on May 19, 2022, that “$40 BILLION to Ukraine is an American last failure.” On November 13, 2022, Greene began calling for “an audit of where every single penny has gone in funding to Ukraine.” Greene reportedly told McCarthy that “the party faithful could not understand why Congress continued to send money to help Ukraine secure its borders, when the United States’ southern border was not secure.” McCarthy then “helped pave the way” for Greene to introduce a bill in the Foreign Affairs Committee on November 17, 2022, demanding a Congressional audit of money sent to Ukraine. Greene reintroduced the legislation on February 24.
On July 18, 2022, Greene said that she voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual budget for the Department of Defense, partially due to the mandatory COVID vaccine requirements. On December 6, 2022, McCarthy celebrated the “elimination of the COVID vaccine mandate in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act,” stating, “[l]ast week, I told the president directly: it’s time to end the COVID vaccine mandate and rehire our service members.”