Jean-Pierre explodes, snaps at reporters asking questions about House GOP impeachment inquiry against Biden

September 14, 2023
Ben Marquis

On Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that he had authorized the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, as the "logical next step" in the multiple ongoing investigations of the president and his family in various congressional committees.

Just one day later, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre nearly melted down completely and angrily snapped at reporters as she was peppered with numerous questions about the now-official impeachment inquiry, according to Fox News.

Jean-Pierre, as she so often does when pressed on matters she'd rather not discuss, also repeatedly deferred the questions to the White House Counsel's Office or recited prepared talking points in response to the legitimate queries from reporters.

McCarthy launches impeachment inquiry

In his Tuesday impeachment inquiry announcement, Speaker McCarthy ran through a litany of the evidence of alleged and potential criminal and ethical wrongdoing of President Biden and members of his family, particularly his son Hunter Biden, that have been uncovered by House Republicans through months-long investigations.

"These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption, and they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives," he said. "That’s why today, I am directing our House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public."

In concluding his remarks, McCarthy added, "I would encourage the President and his team to fully cooperate with this investigation in the interest of transparency."

Jean-Pierre's prepared talking points and deferral of questions

During Wednesday's press briefing, following remarks and Q&As with two other administration officials, press secretary Jean-Pierre was asked directly, "Will the President cooperate fully now that Speaker McCarthy has pulled the trigger on an impeachment inquiry?"

"So, I’m going to refer you to -- to my colleagues over at the Counsel’s Office on any specifics to -- to the inquiry," Jean-Pierre replied. "I’m certainly not going to -- going to speculate on -- on what has been a baseless inquiry that the House Republicans can’t even really defend themselves and that many House Republicans have said -- they have said they couldn’t support their own votes. So, again -- again, I’m going to refer you to my White House Counsel on any specifics."

A moment later, she was pressed on her description of the impeachment inquiry as "baseless" and was asked if she was confident that no "evidence that incriminates" the president would be turned up in the inquiry, but Jean-Pierre again made reference to the Counsel's Office and insisted that Biden was focused on the economy and other "real issues, real priorities for Americans."

"But what you see Republicans in Congress -- right? -- they have spent all year investigating the President. That’s what they’ve spent all year doing, and have turned up with no evidence -- none -- he -- that he did anything wrong," she said. "I mean, that is what we’ve heard over and over again from their almost lear -- year-long investigation. And -- and that’s because the President didn’t do anything wrong."

Snaps at reporter over query about Biden's apparent dishonesty

It was at that point that a reporter interjected to ask if "lying to the public" was wrong, to which Jean-Pierre lost her cool and snapped, in reference to a small handful of House Republicans who don't yet fully support impeachment, "Even House Republicans have said -- have said the evidence does not exist. House Republicans have said that, to my friend in the back who just yelled out, which is incredibly inappropriate."

Pressed to dispute on the record that President Biden has lied to the public, the press secretary instead declared, "Their own investigation have actually debunked their ridiculous attacks.  And the only reason Speaker McCarthy is doing this -- is doing this political stunt -- and we have seen it; you all have reported -- is because [Georgia Rep.]Marjorie Taylor Greene has said she threatened to shut down the government.  Can you imagine shutting down the government over a political stunt?"

"So, he didn’t even put up for a vote, as you all know, because he knows that even his own members weren’t going to support this," a visibly irritated Jean-Pierre continued. "So, you know, that’s why we call it baseless. That’s why I just called it baseless, because they have said themselves that there is no evidence. There does not -- the evidence does not exist, and this is a political stunt."

The press secretary was asked a few more impeachment inquiry-related questions over the course of the remainder of the briefing, but she invariably did little more than repeat the prior talking points about a supposed lack of evidence of wrongdoing or refer the questions to the White House Counsel's Office.

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