Freshmen Democrats Work to Turn Biden Impeachment Effort on Its Head

Representative Jasmine Crockett was sitting in a House Oversight Committee hearing last fall, growing increasingly frustrated as she listened to Republicans accuse President Biden of impeachable offenses without producing any evidence, when she had an idea.

Ms. Crockett, a freshman Democrat from Texas and former defense attorney, summoned an aide and asked them to quickly print out a stack of photos showing the boxes of sensitive government documents stashed by a toilet at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald J. Trump’s club in Palm Beach, Fla.

Moments later, Ms. Crockett was brandishing the photos above her head, accusing Republicans of ignoring clear evidence that Mr. Trump had violated the law while pushing allegations against Mr. Biden for which they had shown no proof.

“When we start talking about things that look like evidence, they want to act like they blind,” Ms. Crockett said of Republicans, spitting her words with a mix of outrage and bemusement. “These are our national secrets,” apparently in a toilet, she added, using an expletive to describe the plumbing.

The moment circulated widely on social media. The White House took notice. So did senior House Democrats. Suddenly, it was Ms. Crockett, not the Republicans pursuing Mr. Biden, who was capturing the public’s attention.

The performance has become something of a hallmark of the sputtering Republican effort to impeach Mr. Biden, which has faltered in recent weeks as the G.O.P. has come up empty in its efforts to back up its claims of wrongdoing by the president.

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