House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced on Tuesday that he is caving to pressure from Republicans and directing House committees to open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The inquiry will focus on if the president benefited from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Republicans have not put forth evidence showing that Biden directly benefited from his son’s business dealings.
McCarthy made the decision to skip holding a formal vote on opening an inquiry. He said at a press conference that “these are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption and warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives.”
Biden Impeachment Probe
The only "evidence" Republicans have posited is testimony from Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden's. He previously told the House Oversight Committee that throughout ten years, Hunter put his father on speakerphone while talking to business associates "about 20 times," and that the now-president attended two meals with Hunter and his business associates.
Archer stated under oath that Biden never discussed business matters with them.
Despite the underwhelming revelations, far-right Republicans have been pushing for McCarthy to open an impeachment inquiry into the president. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene previously said that she would not vote on any necessary budget bills unless the House opened an impeachment inquiry, despite a looming government shutdown. Rep. Matt Gaetz threatened to remove McCarthy from his position if he did not begin proceedings.
Some Republicans have instead pressured McCarthy to reconsider, such as Rep. Ken Buck, who told MSNBC that an impeachment inquiry against Biden is "absurd."
“The time for impeachment is the time when there’s evidence linking President Biden, if there’s evidence linking President Biden to a high crime or misdemeanor, that doesn’t exist right now,” he said, adding, "You go where the facts take you.”
McCarthy assigned House Oversight Chairman James Comer, Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason T. Smith — all Republicans — to lead the investigation. The House committee will review Biden's financial records, then determine if the evidence warrants holding an impeachment vote.
Republicans control the House by a razor thin margin, meaning that even some detractors in the party could thwart the effort. Regardless, if the House votes to impeach, a trial will begin in the Senate, which is currently controlled by Democrats, who are highly unlikely to convict.
While President Biden hasn't addressed the inquiry publicly, White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement that McCarthy’s move is “extreme politics at its worst.”
“The House Republicans’ investigations for the past 9 months have proved that — as their own witnesses testify the President hasn’t done anything wrong, and their own documents show no ties to the President,” he said. “They have no evidence, so they’re launching the next phase of their evidence-free goose chase simply to throw red meat to the right wing so they can continue baselessly attacking the president to play extreme politics.”
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