US: House Speaker McCarthy Announces Impeachment Inquiry Into Biden


By Katherine Gypson

U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced Tuesday lawmakers will launch an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, advancing an investigation concerning allegations Biden benefited from his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings.

“These allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption,” McCarthy told reporters.

“We have found that President Biden did lie to the American people about his own knowledge of his family’s foreign business dealings. Eyewitnesses have testified that the president joined on multiple phone calls, and had multiple interactions, dinners resulted in cars and millions of dollars that went to his sons and his son’s business partners,” McCarthy said during a press briefing. “We know that bank records show that nearly $20 million in payments were directed to the Biden’s family members and associates through various shell companies.”

McCarthy also alleged Biden used his official office to coordinate those contacts and received special treatment from his own administration.

Multiple House committees have yet to find evidence supporting those claims.

White House spokesperson Ian Sams tweeted, “House Republicans have been investigating the president for 9 months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. His own GOP members have said so. He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment, now he flip flopped because he doesn’t have support. Extreme politics at its worst.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last week called the inquiry absurd.

Republicans hold a very slim majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, with just a five-seat majority over Democrats. But some Republicans have expressed concern about pursuing an impeachment inquiry heading into the 2024 election year.

Republican Representative Ken Buck, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told NBC News on Sunday, “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.”

The announcement of the inquiry also sets up a showdown between Capitol Hill and the White House, as lawmakers must strike a deal with Biden to keep the government open past a September 30th funding deadline. The Republican-majority House has just a handful of working days in session to pass a short-term resolution (or CR, continuing resolution) or risk a government shutdown.

If there is a government shutdown, House committees would be unable to work on an impeachment inquiry. McCarthy has proposed the CR to conservatives both as a way to keep an impeachment inquiry alive and to buy time to negotiate government spending levels more closely aligned with conservative priorities.

The House speaker has faced increasing pressure from conservative members of his caucus this summer, after agreeing to a deal with the president to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a U.S. default.

“It’s also possible that those impeachment articles may never reach the Senate,” Michael Thorning, director of structural democracy at the Bipartisan Policy Center told VOA. “With a slim majority, it’s not clear that Republicans can get it across the finish line, they certainly cannot count on any support from Democrats. And so, they really have to hold together every one of their members. And if they lose just five of them, they won’t be able to pass it.”

Even if the U.S. House passes articles of impeachment, the Democratic-majority U.S. Senate is highly unlikely to take them up to hold a trial.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in July, “Impeachment ought to be rare, rather than common. And so, I’m not surprised that having been treated the way they were, House Republicans last Congress, begin to open up the possibility of doing it again. And I think this is not good for the country, to have repeated impeachment problems.”


The VOA is the Voice of America

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