Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Even Mike Johnson Doesn’t Want to Talk About Biden Impeachment Anymore

The House speaker seems completely done with his own party’s Biden impeachment crusade.

Mike Johnson, seated, looks down. U.S. flags are behind him.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson appears to be growing cold on the idea of impeaching Joe Biden, as Republicans reportedly scramble for the exits regarding the impeachment investigation.

Despite insisting for more than a year that the president and his family are guilty of corruption, House Republicans have quietly begun looking for an off-ramp. Their investigation has produced no evidence of Biden’s involvement in crimes, and with their rapidly shrinking majority, articles of impeachment would be unlikely to pass anyway.

When asked Wednesday whether he would hold a vote on articles of impeachment, Johnson demurred and instead said there was more investigating to be done.

The impeachment inquiry and the investigation that accompanies that will continue,” he told reporters. “There is still bits of information that have been requested that have not yet been turned over, and our committees will continue to do that work. And they will process all of that and make those decisions as they come forward.”

Later, Johnson said that once the investigators receive that information, “we’ll carefully evaluate that and make a decision as a body, as a leadership team, about where we proceed from there.”

Johnson’s refusal to give a clear answer is a significant shift, considering he has previously steadfastly supported House Republicans’ impeachment efforts. But lately, the impeachment inquiry has foundered.

The lengthy investigation has failed to turn up any proof of the president’s wrongdoing. In fact, the biggest criminal act revealed during the course of the probe was committed by the GOP’s own star witness, Alexander Smirnov. The Department of Justice has accused him of making up the allegations against the Biden family that jump-started the whole impeachment effort.

Republicans have begun to express doubt that articles of impeachment will ever make it to the floor, and even House Oversight Chair James Comer, who spearheaded the charge against the Biden family, has changed his tune. Last week, Comer told Fox News he would be satisfied with simply making nonbinding criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.

And even if Johnson did bring articles of impeachment to the floor, the likelihood that they would pass seems to shrink with every passing day. Colorado Representative Ken Buck announced Tuesday that he would leave Congress in a matter of days. Buck cited the impeachment inquiry as one of the main reasons he was leaving the House, calling it “dysfunctional” and saying the past year has been the worst of his nearly decade-long term in Washington.

“We’ve taken impeachment and we’ve made it a social media issue as opposed to a constitutional concept,” Buck told reporters Tuesday. “This place just keeps going downhill, and I don’t need to spend my time here.”

Buck also hinted that more resignations will be coming, making it that much more difficult for Republicans to pass anything, let alone articles of impeachment.

More on the end of the GOP’s impeachment crusade:

Ulterior Motive Much? Shady Trumper Has Plans to Buy TikTok

Donald Trump’s former treasury secretary says he’s preparing to buy TikTok.

Christopher Pike/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed Thursday that he is building an investor group to buy TikTok, which could put a major resource for young people in the hands of one of Donald Trump’s allies.

Mnuchin’s announcement comes a day after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would force TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell the platform within six months or risk it being banned from U.S. app stores. The bill flew through the House with massive bipartisan support, and President Joe Biden—who is currently campaigning on TikTok—has promised to sign the measure if it reaches his desk.

“I think the legislation should pass, and I think it should be sold,” Mnuchin, who served as treasury secretary for Trump’s entire term, told CNBC Thursday morning. “It’s a great business, and I’m going to put together a group to buy TikTok.”

Mnuchin leads the private equity firm Liberty Strategic Capital. He did not indicate which other investors he might recruit or how much he planned to offer for TikTok. During his time in the Trump administration, Mnuchin came under fire when it was revealed that some large corporations applied for and received pandemic-era loans intended to help small businesses. Prior to the White House, Mnuchin ran the bank OneWest, where he was accused of profiting off the Great Recession housing crisis by foreclosing on homes and forcing the owners out.

If the TikTok bill passes, it will likely face lengthy battles before it can be implemented. Critics, including the ACLU, have slammed the measure as a free speech violation masked as national security concern.

“Make no mistake: The House’s TikTok bill is a ban, and it’s blatant censorship,” ACLU senior policy counsel Jenna Leventoff said in a statement after the House vote. “Today, the House of Representatives voted to violate the First Amendment rights of more than half of the country. The Senate must reject this unconstitutional and reckless bill.”

ByteDance, meanwhile, appears to have no intention of selling TikTok. The platform’s CEO Shou Zi Chew has indicated that selling isn’t an option.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin accused the United States of violating “the principles of fair competition and international economic and trade rules.”

“If so-called reasons of national security can be used to arbitrarily suppress excellent companies from other countries, then there is no fairness and justice at all,” Wang said Thursday. “When someone sees a good thing another person has and tries to take it for themselves, this is entirely the logic of a bandit.”

Mnuchin is not involved in Trump’s reelection campaign, and he was reportedly privately furious with the former president over the January 6 attack. Just not furious enough to actually do anything, apparently: While Mnuchin condemned the violence, he was careful to avoid publicly criticizing Trump.

If Mnuchin succeeds in buying TikTok, this would mean that a Trump-sympathetic Republican would sit at the helm of a major information resource. As Representative Mike Gallagher, the House bill’s Republican co-sponsor, noted Wednesday, TikTok is “becoming the dominant news platform for Americans under 30.” If Mnuchin controls the app, he could attempt to influence what information can be shared on the platform.

Chuck Schumer Says Benjamin Netanyahu’s Time Is Up

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has got to go.

Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for new elections in Israel on Thursday, noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “lost his way.”

In a scathing speech on the Senate floor, Schumer argued that Netanyahu had allowed his “political survival to take precedence over the best interests” of the country and criticized him for aligning with far-right extremists. He also named four obstacles on the road to a two-state solution: Hamas, Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right-wingers in the Israeli government, and Netanyahu.

“Nobody expects Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the things that must be done to break the cycle of violence, preserve Israel’s credibility on the world stage, and work towards a two-state solution,” Schumer said.

“At this critical juncture, I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government,” he said.

“The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed, radically, since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past.”

Schumer has spent months in relative silence while more than 31,000 Palestinians were killed, largely avoiding publicly remarking on Israel’s war on Gaza. His comments come at a time of high pressure for Democrats, who fear they could alienate young voters on the issue if they don’t take radical action.

Trump Makes Idiotic Confession Just Before Key Classified Docs Hearing

Genius Donald Trump said the stupidest thing possible, mere hours before a key hearing in his classified documents case.

Donald Trump yells at a mic
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

While Donald Trump’s legal team prepared to make arguments attempting to dismiss his classified documents criminal case, Trump was working on a new angle of his own.

In a prerecorded interview that aired Wednesday, Trump effortlessly unraveled the work of his defense team, telling Newsmax’s Greg Kelly point blank that he actually did take the classified documents, describing the process of shamelessly packing them away while leaving office.

“I took ’em very legally,” Trump said. “And I wasn’t hiding them.”

“We had boxes on the front of the—and a lot of those boxes had clothing and a lot of—we were moving out, OK? Unfortunately, we were moving out of the White House. And because we’re moving out of the White House our country is going to hell.”

“But um, we weren’t hiding anything. He was,” he added, referring to President Joe Biden having kept a box with a handful of classified documents in his garage. By comparison, the FBI seized 11,000 records at Mar-a-Lago.

The admission is just another self-induced nick in a narrowing defense for someone who clearly knew that he took privileged documents and illegally kept them.

In a July 2021 recording, Trump confessed the obvious: that he actually couldn’t have declassified the “secret” documents as he said he did because he wasn’t president.

“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t,” he said at the time.

“Except it is like, highly confidential. Secret. This is secret information,” Trump added at another point in the recording.

And in a June interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier, Trump claimed he was too “busy” to give the boxes back to the federal government.

“Because I had boxes. I want to go through the boxes and get all my personal things out. I don’t want to hand that over to [the archives] yet,” Trump said. “And I was very busy, as you have sort of seen. I have been very, very busy.”

On Monday, one of Trump’s former Mar-a-Lago employees, Brian Butler, anonymously referred to in court documents as “Trump Employee 5,” confessed that he had been part of an orchestrated move to transport the documents out of Mar-a-Lago and to Bedminster, New Jersey, ahead of a meeting between Trump and the Justice Department in June 2022—two months before the FBI raid at the Florida estate.

Unfortunately More on Trump:

Trump Campaign Ads Are Helping Fund Pro-Nazi Content Creators

Donald Trump seems totally chill with his campaign funding pro-Nazi videos.

Donald Trump smiles and stands before some U.S. flags.
Christian Monterrosa/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Some of Donald Trump’s campaign ads are running alongside pro-Nazi videos, meaning the former president’s campaign is helping to monetize such horrific content. And his campaign seems totally fine with it.

Trump’s ads are running at the start of certain videos posted on Rumble, a streaming platform popular with the far right, Rolling Stone reported Thursday. In the ads, Trump asks viewers to donate to his campaign.

As of Monday, the ads were playing alongside a video made by far-right commentator Stew Peters. In the video, which was posted last week, Peters calls Adolf Hitler a “hero” for the Nazi book burnings of the 1930s, a phenomenon Peters describes as “awesome.” Peters also calls for current-day book burnings and accuses Jewish people of trying to “make us surrender” to accepting LGBTQ people and sexual “degeneracy.”

Neither Rumble nor Peters responded to Rolling Stone’s request for comment, so it’s not clear how the Trump ad ended up on Peters’s video, nor how much money Peters is making off that particular post or on Rumble in general.

Trump’s campaign, however, blamed Rumble for placing the ad alongside Peters’s video. “We aren’t picking any particular video or channel to run ads on, and we are not given visibility into every single ad that is served during every video,” a spokesperson told Rolling Stone. The campaign did not say whether it had any concerns about monetizing Peters’s content or about advertising on Rumble more generally.

But it’s not surprising that Trump advertising has landed on a pro-Nazi video. Trump openly embraced authoritarianism while he was in the White House. He regularly praised various dictators and allegedly had a list of things he liked about Hitler.

And it’s somehow gotten worse during his current campaign. He has repeatedly paraphrased Hitler’s rhetoric in campaign speeches, and on Friday, he hosted Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán at Mar-a-Lago. Although he has joked about only acting like a dictator on “day one” of a potential second term, Trump and his allies are already bragging about their plans should they retake the White House.

Ironically, though, Peters is not a fan of Trump, apparently because the former president isn’t Nazi-esque enough. Peters, a Holocaust denier, has pushed anti–Covid vaccine conspiracies and called for Anthony Fauci and Hunter Biden to be hanged.

Peters has promoted antisemitism, masked as aggressive anti-Zionism, in response to the war in Gaza. And he has hosted fellow Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and the leader of the neo-Nazi group Goyim Defense League on his show.

Trump, on the other hand, “bows to his Zionist masters,” according to Peters. He has also accused the former president of prioritizing Israel over the United States.

Putin Roasts Donald Trump for Being Totally Jealous of Biden

In an interview with Russian state TV, a smirking Vladimir Putin dragged Donald Trump through and through.

Vladimir Putin speaks and raises his hand as if in question

Donald Trump perhaps did not leave quite the splash with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he thought he did.

In an interview with state media on Wednesday, Putin glibly recounted a private conversation in 2020 in which Trump discussed the upcoming U.S. presidential election. In it, Trump could barely contain his envy upon hearing the Russian leader’s fondness for Biden, “admonishing” Putin and acting more like a jealous girlfriend than a political leader.

“This was more than four years ago. He told me that in one conversation: ‘You want him to win.’ Excuse me, I’ll say it like he did, it’s just direct speech, ‘for Sleepy Joe to win.’ He told me this when he was still president,” Putin said, according to The Daily Beast.

The answer came about after the Russian leader was asked whether his public support for Biden could be seen as election meddling. Putin maintained that Russia was not involved in election interference in the U.S. “in any way.”

Recall that special counsel Robert Mueller determined Russia had aided Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and would likely attempt to influence American elections again. In his 448-page report, Mueller wrote that the “the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”

Trump has, in recent months, made several nods to his support of Russia. Last month, he used the legacy of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to his own benefit while refusing to condemn Putin for his murder, likening his own criminal trials for fraud and rape to the attempted poisonings of Navalny, who fought for Russian liberation.

Trump also said he told European leaders that Russia could “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO allies if the countries didn’t “pay” their “bills”—though his former national security adviser John Bolton has since cast doubt on the tall tale, claiming Trump’s disdain for the Western international alliance is very real but the details of the story are probably completely made up.

And in another signaled boon to Putin, Trump has declared that he would completely end U.S. aid to Ukraine if he were to win the general election, effectively allowing the burgeoning Western ally to fall into Russian control—at least, that’s what he described in a “friendly” private meeting with Hungary’s autocratic leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

“He (Trump) has a very clear vision,” Orbán told Hungarian broadcaster M1 on Sunday. “He says the following: First, he will not give a single penny for the Russo-Ukrainian war. That’s why the war will end, because it’s obvious that Ukraine cannot stand on its own two feet.”

It Seems Trump Still Has No Idea How to Post That Massive Fraud Bond

No one wants to help out poor old billionaire Donald Trump.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump still hasn’t posted bond in his New York civil fraud trial, but his lawyer Alina Habba wants you to know that it’s definitely not because they’re having trouble getting the massive amount together.

The former president was fined $354 million for committing real estate–related fraud in New York. In order to appeal the decision, Trump must post a bond of the full amount plus interest—which has already reached nearly $467 million, with interest adding $112,000 per day.

When asked Wednesday if Trump was any closer to posting bond, Habba had a very clear answer that raised no red flags.

“Yeah, no, unfortunately I can’t speak to that. That’s privileged, and I am the attorney, one of the attorneys on that case,” Habba told Fox News, stating the obvious.

She quickly pivoted to attacking the case altogether, calling the judgment “absurd” and expressing hope that an appeals court would overturn it.

Trump, who claims to be a billionaire, has tried to delay posting bond and offered to post just $100 million. His efforts have been roundly rejected by the judge who presided over his trial. He has until March 25 to stay the fraud judgment, meaning he would need to put up the money, assets, or an appeal bond to cover the full amount. If he fails to do so, New York Attorney General Letitia James has warned she will start seizing his assets.

Despite constantly bragging about how much money he has, Trump appears unable to post bond in his fraud case. He recently launched a line of sneakers and promoted a fan-funded GoFundMe to help with his many legal bills.

Last week, Trump finally managed to post the $91.6 million bond in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him. The bond was guaranteed by the Chubb Corporation—and the insurance group’s customers are already unhappy about it.

Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg, whom Trump appointed in 2018 to a White House advisory committee for trade policy and negotiations, sent a letter Wednesday assuring clients that the decision was not a political one and that the company’s assets were “fully collateralized,” or protected against failure of repayment.

Trump still owes Carroll $5 million for sexually assaulting her and defaming her a separate time. He also owes $400,000 to The New York Times, thousands of dollars for gag order violations, and $382,000 to Orbis Business Intelligence, the consulting firm owned by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Trump had sued Orbis over a dossier Steele compiled in 2016 that alleged Trump and members of his inner circle had been “compromised” by Russia’s security service.

DeSantis Is in a Feud With Libs of TikTok, in Funniest Twist of Events

Pass the popcorn, folks.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

It’s a clash of two wilting GOP titans attempting to grab a spot in the sun over one critical issue: Are undocumented immigrants allowed to drive in Florida?

In one corner, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was taken down a notch after GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump nicknamed him “Ron De-Sanctimonious” and mocked him for needing to wear heels to reach the podium. In the other, the far-right Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik, who outed herself as nothing more than a mindless pot stirrer in an hour-long one-on-one interview with Taylor Lorenz last month.

On Wednesday, Raichik put Florida’s immigration policies on blast, claiming that the Sunshine State gives undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses—a shocking accusation for a state that has arguably gone too far with some of the most restrictive DMV statutes in the country, including some that amount to transgender voter suppression.

“This normally quiet, peaceful neighborhood in Florida was shaken this week when 3 illegals from Guatemala were arrested for forcing a woman into a car and s*xually ass*ulting her,” Raichik wrote, referring to an alleged assault in Palm Beach County. “Apparently FL also gives illegals drivers licenses!”

“Biden’s open borders allows v*olent criminals to terrorize Americans,” she added to a post that was quickly inundated with community notes, an X function that allows viewers to fact-check posts.

Shortly afterward, Raichik made another post clarifying that her first one was, in fact, a lie.

“To clarify—Florida Law does not allow illegals to get a drivers license. It was a woke State Attorney’s office who instructed an illegal to get a drivers license and subvert Florida Law,” she wrote, referring to State Attorney Dave Aronberg. “How did he want the illegal to obtain a license in Florida? The State Attorney @aronberg needs to clarify what is going on here!!”

But the community reckoning wasn’t enough for DeSantis, who felt the need to correct the record on his own terms.

“@libsoftiktok got community noted for lying about FL law, which not only prohibits illegal aliens from getting drivers licenses but also prohibits recognition of licenses issued to illegal aliens from other states,” DeSantis posted.

“Truth shouldn’t be a casualty of attempts to generate clicks and engagement farm,” he added.

Raichik’s initial post is still up.

Republican Senator Single-Handedly Blocks Yet Another IVF Bill

If Republicans care about protecting IVF like they claim, why do they keep blocking all these bills?

Senator James Lankford walks in the Capitol and smiles, binders in hand. Three women are in the background.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Senator James Lankford

Despite insisting that they are “pro-life” and support in vitro fertilization, Senate Republicans have blocked a second bill that would have expanded access to the treatment.

Washington Senator Patty Murray tried to pass a bill Tuesday that would allow all veterans to access IVF and other fertility treatments at Veterans Affairs facilities. Currently, in order to qualify for VA treatment, veterans must prove their infertility is due to a health issue caused by their military service.

Murray had tried to pass her bill via unanimous consent, which is the fastest way to get a measure through the Senate but also the riskiest, because just one “no” vote can tank legislation. And that’s exactly what happened Tuesday: Senator James Lankford objected to the bill.

“I understand it’s become vogue in this current season right now to be able to say Republicans are somehow opposed to life because they’re opposed to IVF,” Lankford said. “I just don’t find that.”

Still, the Oklahoma Republican argued the bill’s definition of “infertility” was “very broad.” The measure stated that an infertility condition means either “a diagnosis of infertility” or “the inability to reproduce or safely carry a pregnancy to term, including as a result of treatment for another condition.”

Lankford said he was trying to “figure out what that means,” referring to the second definition.

It’s unclear how much more information Lankford needs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines infertility as “not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex.” So it would seem that the bill’s definition is pretty medically spot-on.

Lankford also said he took issue with more procedural matters, such as that the bill hadn’t been debated or analyzed by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and that the Congressional Budget Office hadn’t determined how much the measure would cost.

Murray’s bill—and Lankford’s killing it—comes just two weeks after one Republican senator single-handedly tanked a separate measure aimed at protecting IVF. Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced a bill in late February to codify IVF protections, and asked for unanimous consent. Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith opposed the measure.

Republicans have paid plenty of lip service to IVF since the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos created through IVF can be considered children, torpedoing the state’s fertility industry. But they have studiously avoided taking actual action to protect the procedure.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers rushed through a new law to specifically protect IVF, but it still leaves open the question of fetal personhood.

House Republican Infighting Turns Annual Retreat Into a Total Bust

House Republicans are in total disarray.

Mike Johnson looks worried
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Tensions between House Republicans have gotten so high that a swath of the caucus is thinking of opting out of a free, luxury vacation in order to avoid spending more time together.

Fewer than 100 Republicans have so far RSVP’d to the annual retreat, set to begin Wednesday, and they are using every excuse under the sun not to attend, from prescheduled appearances on late-night TV to having “a farm to run.”

Those who decided to skip include House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, and Representatives Nancy Mace, Tim Burchett, Matt Gaetz, Kelly Armstrong, Dusty Johnson, Stephanie Bice, and Dave Joyce. Collectively, more than half of the entire conference has decided to skirt attendance.

Privately, some lawmakers complained to CNN that the choice of location—the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia—was not as enticing as former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s prior picks in Florida.

But others told the outlet that their choice simply boiled down to not wanting to spend more time with their boisterous colleagues. Together, the Republican-led House has amounted to one of the least productive congressional sessions in history, passing a measly 27 bills that became law in 2023 out of a sum total of 724 votes. That same Republican-led House has continued to stall on core elements of their jobs well into 2024, including passing government spending bills and foreign aid assistance.

Altogether, it’s another bad omen for the health of the legislature, which is witnessing resignations en masse, citing similar complaints of Republican infighting and lack of competency. On Tuesday, Colorado Representative Ken Buck submitted his resignation in a hurry, giving less than two weeks’ notice for the historically coveted job, which surprised everyone, including his boss, Speaker Mike Johnson.