House Republicans have been plotting investigations of Joe Biden and his family if they retake the majority this fall, but those plans have been complicated by the search warrant executed at Donald Trump's private residence.
The FBI searched Mar-a-Lago as part of an investigation into alleged mishandling of classified documents, and while GOP lawmakers have raced to Trump's defense and attacked the Department of Justice as unfairly partisan -- some Republicans expressed concern about the fallout among the conservative base, reported Politico.
“The base has lost its mind," said one senior House Republican. "If Trump decides to call them to arms, then I think he could get another Jan. 6."
Republicans have personalized the law enforcement move against Trump by suggesting the same actions could be taken against anyone -- which isn't inaccurate -- and some have seen that as an incitement to violence.
"It’s very clear that Republicans have recognized that they can no longer win elections with votes," said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), "and so they’re leaning in hard to try to win elections with violence, and they are fomenting that violence right now."
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) warned attorney general Merrick Garland to prepare to be targeted for scrutiny over the search if Republicans take back the majority, and a former House Republican staff attorney told The Daily Beast that Biden's Justice Department has "really infuriated" the GOP by remaining silent on the search.
“It makes Republicans want to dig in even more to the administration,” said Aaron Cutler, the former House GOP staff attorney.
But even Republicans admit that aggressively investigating Biden and his family may carry political risks, and Cutler expressed hope that McCarthy could "ensure the conference is measured and doesn’t send out subpoenas willy-nilly."
“I don’t think leadership wants to see Hunter Biden alone on a witness panel getting beaten up for hours on end,” Cutler said. “The Benghazi example, I think folks would understand that’s not really what the American public wants to see.”
Democrats, however, doubt that the increasingly extreme Republican Party could exercise such restraint, especially if retribution against Trump's enemies is their primary legislative goal.
“It’d be a sh*tshow on steroids,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) told The Daily Beast.