OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A closely-watched special election in Rhode Island has been called as voters hit the polls to fill a vacancy in Congress.
When former Rhode Island Democrat Rep. David Cicilline left his post earlier this year to take over the largest philanthropy in Rhode Island, a high-profile position became available in the small, largely Democratic state.
Nearly a dozen Democrats ran for the seat and several of them had the endorsement of important national organizations. The 1st Congressional District, which includes Providence, has two Republican candidates on the ballot, but a Republican hasn’t won it in years.
Former White House aide Gabe Amo has been declared the winner.
“Rhode Island is smaller than probably most counties in the United States, and yet they have an outsized number of elected officials,” said Rich Luchette, a former adviser to Cicilline, who has not endorsed a successor. “All of them are ambitious, all of them look in the mirror and see a future member of Congress.”
There was an abundance of candidates because the state has a sizable Legislature and numerous small municipalities, the majority of which are run by Democrats.
“The front-runner had been seen as Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, but a scandal involving forged signatures gathered on her behalf to get on the ballot may have mortally wounded her prospects,” NBC News reported.
“She has denied wrongdoing and blamed a rogue vendor for collecting the phony signatures, but her slow response to the controversy, the state attorney general’s ongoing investigation, and a lack of other major campaign developments this summer meant she suffered months of bad headlines,” the outlet added.
— WPRI 12 (@wpri12) September 6, 2023
This comes as the U.S. House is potentially on the verge of launching an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has indicated that he is open to an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, but he’s also saying he won’t go down the same path as his predecessor, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, when it came to impeaching then-President Donald Trump — twice.
On Friday, the California Republican said an impeachment inquiry would only move forward on a majority vote of the House, which the GOP controls with a slight majority.
“To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes. The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives,” McCarthy told Breitbart News in a statement. “That’s why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person.”
McCarthy’s stance represents a departure from the approach taken by Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the initial impeachment inquiry against Trump. In 2019, Pelosi unilaterally announced that the House would move forward with an impeachment inquiry into the then-president following what many Republicans saw as a manufactured controversy surrounding a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“This week, the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said on Sept. 24, 2019. “Therefore, today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella.
“The president must be held accountable,” she continued. “No one is above the law.”
At first, the Trump White House declined to cooperate with the investigation, citing concerns that the full House had not yet conducted a vote to initiate the inquiry. It wasn’t until several weeks later, on October 31, 2019, that the House officially sanctioned the impeachment inquiry by a vote of 232 to 196.
That said, Fox News reported that sources told the outlet that House Republican leaders are looking to launch an inquiry into Biden over allegations including bribery and other nefarious dealings with foreign governments later this month.
McCarthy told GOP lawmakers during a members-only conference call Monday night that an impeachment inquiry is “the natural progression from our investigations that have been going on,” according to one Republican lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity.