In new comments posted to Twitter, journalist Kyle Cheney pointed out what could be serious legal vulnerabilities associated with recent comments made by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
In short, she seemed to explicitly go outside the legally established bounds for how Congress can actually exercise its power. Congress is not a law enforcement body, and as such — no matter how mad that Republicans are about Hunter Biden! — it can’t legally undertake an attempt at punishment for either perceived or proven crimes.
Impeachment, which Congress obviously can carry out, does not function according to the same legal understandings as the criminal justice system. But here’s what Boebert recently proclaimed on Twitter: “Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and anyone who has aided and abetted them in their criminality: You are ON NOTICE! The House GOP isn’t stopping in the pursuit of justice here. In fact, we are just getting started.” Again, aside from the fact that there’s actually no real-world evidence of involvement by the president in his son Hunter’s actually limited criminal activity, Congress can’t do this! (Hunter recently reached a plea agreement involving admissions to tax offenses.)
It was during the January 6 investigation in the House that some of those opposed to its progression raised dubious concerns on the nonetheless real basis of the limits to what members of Congress can do. “Comments like this will be featured in any resulting litigation as evidence of an impermissible law enforcement purpose by Congress,” Cheney tweeted. “Courts rarely entertain those gripes but they also rarely get comments this explicit.” Cheney’s area of focus in his work with POLITICO is, in short, the law, meaning this topic is his publicly established area of clear expertise.
The Republicans currently running the House aren’t making much of any progress with their hollow attempts at investigating the Bidens. They’ve also more directly tried to provide what’s effectively cover for Trump as he faces multiple criminal cases, and that’s not really working either. Former Manhattan prosecutor Mark Pomerantz appeared for questioning… and invoked rights he held against incriminating himself.
Comments like this will be featured in any resulting litigation as evidence of an impermissible law enforcement purpose by Congress.
Courts rarely entertain those gripes but they also rarely get comments this explicit. https://t.co/MGn9skMO9H
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 28, 2023