Tony Perkins Changes His Tune, Says Impeachment Inquiries Do ‘Damage to our System’

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins speaks at Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on September 21, 2018. (Photo: Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch)

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council (designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), appears to be suffering from amnesia. After repeatedly demanding, during the last presidential administration, that Republicans move to impeach President Barack Obama, Perkins is now claiming that opening an impeachment inquiry into the activities of President Donald Trump could do irreversible damage to the United States.

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California joined Perkins for an interview on Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday to discuss House Democrats’ impeachment investigations, announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday. Perkins and McCarthy warned listeners that the fact Trump, in response to a whistleblower complaint, had released a rough account of a phone discussion Trump had with the president of Ukraine had hurt the nation. They claimed that those pursuing the impeachment inquiry were seeking to upend the United States’ role in the world.

“Now, having to release an entire transcript—you know, what world leaders are going to be hesitant to talk to the president next? We’ve seen him have private meetings in the White House—in which information was leaked—with other world leaders. So, this does damage to our system of government that, quite frankly, may never be fixed,” Perkins said.

“So true, and the question here is, they’re breaking the fiber of this nation,” McCarthy said. “This about how serious this is, Tony. They’re questioning impeaching the leader of the free world and they take it so lightly. But it’s in the Constitution about what rises to a crime … nothing here does that.”

McCarthy continued, “This is still about the 2016 election, but it’s not based on facts. And I’m sorry, this country—this country is too great to have such a small vision of just impeachment and investigation.” The tune has been sung by McCarthy before; he said almost the exact same thing on Fox News last year.

During his own tenure as House speaker, McCarthy had ruthlessly pushed for investigations aimed at Obama and Hillary Clinton, but McCarthy recently proposed a resolution in the House that would have denounced Pelosi’s initiation of an impeachment inquiry. On Wednesday, McCarthy’s resolution was voted down. For all of his ire against the Obama administration, McCarthy has never been an impeachment enthusiast. In 2014, McCarthy told CBN News that while he opposed impeaching Obama from office, he instead hoped a lawsuit against the Obama administration would be sufficient. (At issue was the funding mechanism for the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.)

Perkins, on the other hand, has changed his tune entirely. After repeatedly calling Republicans to impeach Obama, Perkins suddenly opposes the concept of impeachment. In a recent blog post, Perkins wrote: “If you want to remove Donald Trump from office, do it the old-fashioned way: win an election.”