Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Monday that comments she made a day earlier about the possible impeachment of a President Joe Biden were taken out of context, the Des Moines Register reports.
"I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened," Ernst told Bloomberg News on Sunday. "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.'"
But on Monday, she told reporters that any suggestion she was saying her party would move to impeach Biden if he wins the White House in November was "entirely out of context."
"The point is that the Democrats have lowered the bar so far," Ernst said Monday. "Regardless of who it is, if you have a different party in the House than that of an elected president, you could have just random comments thrown out there with folks saying, 'We're going to impeach,'" she said.
"I didn't say what guidelines were," she said, but rather "that we've lowered the bar so much, is this really what the American people want? And I would say no."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, called Ernst's statement and any like it "irresponsible," adding, "The bar remains very, very high," for impeachment.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told the paper he had not heard Ernst's statement, but hoped the impeachment standard rises.
"There is a reason the standard is so high and the bar is so high, and Democrats have violated them this year, and I hope this is a lesson to all of us," he said. "And by the way, Republicans didn't do a lot better with Bill Clinton, so unless we want to have these things every decade or so, we should get back to a higher standard."
Biden told the Register that Ernst's comment "just reinforces everything that was the reason why the president was being impeached: They very much don't want to face me obviously. I've never seen a sitting president and his allies this frightened about who may be the nominee."
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