House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced on Tuesday the commencement of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. This move marks a substantial escalation in the ongoing investigations by GOP lawmakers into the President and his family’s foreign business dealings.
In his brief remarks to reporters, McCarthy asserted that this step was a logical progression, granting House committees the authority needed to uncover the truth for the American public. He stated, “This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public. That’s exactly what we want to know, the answers.”
McCarthy emphasized the seriousness and credibility of allegations that President Biden may have benefited from his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities. He further directed the House Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means Committees to lead this impeachment inquiry.
Despite McCarthy’s claims, previous investigations by House Republicans into Hunter Biden’s actions have yet to produce direct evidence implicating the President. President Biden has consistently denied any involvement in his son’s foreign business ventures, and the White House maintains that he has no role in Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
Nevertheless, McCarthy argued that the uncovered allegations warrant a more extensive investigation by the House, stating, “Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”
The decision to launch an impeachment inquiry represents a significant step in the Republicans’ investigations into President Biden and Hunter Biden, which commenced after the GOP assumed control of the House earlier this year.
It remains uncertain, however, whether there is broad Republican support for this move. Two prominent Republicans, Representatives Ken Buck of Colorado and Don Bacon of Nebraska, have expressed reservations about pursuing an impeachment inquiry. Representative Chris Stewart of Utah will also leave the House GOP conference due to his wife’s health concerns, further impacting the dynamics.
Buck told MSNBC in an interview, “There is not a strong connection at this point between the evidence on Hunter Biden and the evidence connecting the President.” Bacon expressed a similar sentiment, noting that he does not currently support initiating an impeachment inquiry but would consider it if additional facts become clear through continued investigation.
This decision to pursue impeachment inquiries comes amid the looming deadline of September 30 for Congress to pass government funding legislation and avoid a government shutdown. The far-right faction of the House GOP has been urging McCarthy to prioritize spending cuts, and they oppose any short-term measures to maintain government funding at current levels.
In addition to their stance on government spending, conservative lawmakers have been pressuring McCarthy to cease resisting efforts to pursue President Biden’s impeachment. Florida Representative Matt Gaetz warned that blocking action on impeachment could jeopardize McCarthy’s position as Speaker of the House.
McCarthy’s endorsement of an impeachment inquiry follows his recent indications that the House’s GOP majority may take action. In an interview last month with Fox News, he described an impeachment inquiry as a “natural step forward” that would provide Congress with “the apex of legal power to get all the information they need.”
The White House has criticized the push for impeachment, characterizing it as a politically-motivated exercise driven by far-right lawmakers. Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, stated, “If Speaker McCarthy opens an impeachment inquiry simply to throw red meat to the right wing, it will yet again prove this is nothing more than a costly, illegitimate, politically-motivated exercise not rooted in reality.”