House Speaker Kevin McCarthy plans to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden in September: Republican lawmakers are insistent that there may be wrongdoing over the President’s connections to his son’s foreign business dealings.
Witness testimony and whistleblowers have certainly raised eyebrows, although the GOP presently lacks the required evidence to launch a successful and convincing formal impeachment.
Speaker McCarthy has previously hinted at impeachment as evidence from the House Oversight Committee grows, but he is yet to bow down to right-wing pressure within the party spurred on by Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, however, he made his boldest statement yet.
Joe Biden and Impeachment
McCarthy hinted at an impeachment inquiry during a Fox Business interview on Tuesday.
“The thing that holds up whether we’ll do an impeachment inquiry: Provide us the documents we’re asking,” he said.
“The whole determination here is how the Bidens handle this.”
“If they provide us the documents, there wouldn’t be a need for an impeachment inquiry,” he added. “But if they withhold the documents and fight like they have now to not provide to the American public what they deserve to know, we will move forward with an impeachment inquiry when we come back into session.”
Republicans are requesting bank records and credit card statements, although McCarthy avoided naming which members of the Biden family they were targeting specifically.
Impeachment Inquiries And The Reaction To Them
Impeachment inquiries are not a constitutionally required step before a formal vote, although only Trump’s second impeachment has been passed in such a manner. An inquiry provides House committees with additional investigative powers, including the authorization of subpoenas, deposition powers as well as further funding for the inquiry.
The findings of a formal inquiry often influence the House’s decision whether to impeach an officeholder. In the absence of firm, indisputable evidence, votes will typically go along party lines.
Whether there are party rebellions is another matter. McCarthy will be hopeful that an investigation could convince the 18 Republicans who hold seats in states which Biden won in 2020. If five or more House Republicans decide an impeachment would upset their voters, the proceedings fall at the first hurdle.
The White House and Democrats have long criticized the GOP probe into the Biden family, with spokesperson Ian Sams claiming that the investigators’ lack of conclusive evidence clears the President of wrongdoing. “McCarthy keeps lying about their ‘investigations’ because the truth is their own witnesses testified President Biden wasn’t involved and did nothing wrong, and bank records they subpoenaed show no involvement,” Sams tweeted earlier this month. “Yet they go on wasting time and tax dollars on their wild goose chase.”
If voters, particularly moderates, agree with Sams’ view, then the GOP could be set for an electoral battering in 2024. For McCarthy, his own interests are on the line just as much as his party’s. A case for a formal impeachment must be convincing. Currently, it isn’t.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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