WASHINGTON – House Democrats are cashing in on chatter that Republicans are plotting to impeach President Barack Obama, raising $1 million on Monday alone, their campaign chief said Tuesday. Republicans insisted such talk was bogus.
Rep. Steve Israel, who runs the House Democrats’ campaign committee, told reporters that House Speaker John Boehner’s announcement of a lawsuit against Obama opened the door for both impeachment and the fundraising drive. Since Boehner announced in June he planned to sue the president, Democrats’ House campaign arm has raised $7.6 million.
“I understand the strategy is intended to gin up its base,” Israel told reporters at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “Every time they talk about suing the president, that just ignites our base.”
Boehner, meanwhile, said Democrats were the ones fueling impeachment talks. The Ohio Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill that his party has “no plans” to open impeachment proceedings. He called Democrats’ fundraising efforts a “scam.”
Speculation about impeachment has been popular among conservative activists and some lawmakers despite Boehner’s dismissal. In an interview this week, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, newly elected to the GOP leadership, repeatedly declined to rule out impeaching Obama.