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House to vote on formalizing Biden impeachment inquiry

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The House has planned to vote today on formalizing the Republican-led impeachment inquiry into President Biden, a decision that could enhance their legal authority to scrutinize the president’s family business dealings.

The vote puts Republicans in districts won by Biden in 2020 on the spot, forcing them to declare their stance on an investigation that, thus far, has revealed no wrongdoing by the president. GOP leaders must maintain a delicate balance, with only a limited margin for dissenting members for the vote to succeed.

For months, Republicans on key House committees, including Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means, have aimed to demonstrate that Biden benefitted from his family’s foreign business activities and allegedly accepted bribes. However, the absence of a formal impeachment probe vote raised questions about its legal validity, causing skepticism among Democrats.

GOP lawmakers argue that a formal authorization would bolster their position in court as they seek essential documents and witness testimony. Some Republicans, like Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska, have shifted their stance, citing the president’s cessation of information provision as a reason for supporting the formal inquiry.

The proposed resolution outlines rules for public hearings and instructs committees to produce a public report with their findings. Another resolution empowers committee chairmen to seek judicial enforcement of subpoenas for uncooperative witnesses. House Speaker Mike Johnson emphasizes that this step is essential due to alleged “stonewalling” from the White House, involving the refusal to turn over key witnesses and thousands of documents.

Amid concerns of potential political risks for Republicans, Johnson clarifies that the vote is about continuing the investigation, not directly on impeaching President Biden. Democrats, like Representative Jamie Raskin, caution that the vote could be a “slippery slope” leading to an actual impeachment vote.

Responding to the impeachment effort, the White House released a detailed memo countering allegations and characterizing the endeavor as a “partisan smear campaign.” White House spokesperson Ian Sams criticizes Republicans for pursuing the investigation despite admissions within their own party that there is no evidence supporting impeachment. Sams deems the investigation a diversion from addressing crucial issues such as lowering costs, job creation, and strengthening healthcare.

The vote comes on the heels of Hunter Biden’s recent indictment on tax evasion charges, adding a layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations. Hunter Biden’s personal finances and business ventures are under scrutiny, with congressional committees examining whether the president personally benefitted from family businesses and whether there were attempts to obstruct criminal investigations into Hunter.

Hunter Biden faces a subpoena to appear for a deposition, with his attorney insisting on an open hearing to prevent manipulation of facts. The Oversight Committee has also issued subpoenas for the president’s brother, James Biden, and Hunter Biden’s personal business records.

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