Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican, warned Sunday that Republicans could immediately impeach Joe Biden over his work in Ukraine as vice president if he wins the White House.
“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” Ernst said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, ‘Well, we’re going to impeach him.’”
Ernst said the grounds for impeachment would be “for being assigned to take on Ukrainian corruption yet turning a blind eye to Burisma because his son was on the board making over a million dollars a year.”
Biden led the Obama administration’s effort to fight corruption in Ukraine, including by pushing for the removal of prosecutor general Viktor Shokin from office. Shokin later claimed without evidence that he was fired because he was investigating Burisma and Biden wanted to protect his son, Hunter, who was on the company’s board.
Ernst, a first-term congresswoman, told reporters on Monday that the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump could hurt Biden in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus.
“I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus goers,” she said. “Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point? Not certain at that.”
Biden brought up Ernst’s comments during every stump speech he’s made this week. He has told Iowa crowds that Ernst “spilled the beans” about Republicans’ real intention in raising the Burisma issue to damage his candidacy.
“You can ruin Donald Trump’s night by caucusing with me and ruin Joni Ernst’s night as well,” he has said.
Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield responded to Ernst’s latest comments by again encouraging Iowans to caucus for Biden.
“Iowans have the chance tomorrow to say the words that Donald Trump and Joni Ernst fear most: I’m here to caucus for Joe Biden,” she said.
The Senate is expected to acquit Trump Wednesday in the impeachment trial.