President Joe Biden is yet to be formally impeached by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives as the Hunter Biden allegations enter their fourth year.
First raised prior to the 2020 presidential elections, Republicans – spurred on by Donald Trump – have been investigating the first son over his foreign business dealings.
Specifically, they’re looking to find solid evidence that the President profited from his son’s work while he was vice president.
Federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice believe Hunter is a criminal, charging him with two tax misdemeanors along with unlawful possession of a firearm.
While a separate issue, the ongoing investigations have unearthed further evidence for the House Oversight Committee – the panel which will recommend any impeachment proceedings to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Some – predominantly those loyal to Donald Trump – have questioned why Republican lawmakers are yet to impeach the president.
Quite simply, without conclusive evidence, any efforts will appear politically motivated – a disastrous stain on a party which is desperate for a successful electoral year in 2024.
Here’s what we know so far:
Through testimony in front of Republican lawmakers, we know that Hunter used his father’s name – “The Brand” as he reportedly referred to him – to benefit in business deals.
In particular, Hunter promised access to then-Vice President to foreign sources in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine.
The Bidens had dinner with some of Hunter’s business partners at Washington D.C.’s Café Milano, and Joe Biden was placed on speakerphone on at least 20 occasions during other discussions involving his son.
However, Hunter’s associate Devon Archer insisted that he never heard the President discuss business deals in these phone calls.
Republicans also lack proof that Joe Biden benefited financially from these discussions, whether they were over the phone or at dinners.
Bank records unearthed by the HOC investigation show that Hunter and his associates made at least $20million from foreign business dealings since his father’s tenure as vice president began in 2009. His infamous laptop revealed his complaints to daughter Naomi over “pay[ing] for everything for this entire family for 30 years.”
“But don’t worry, unlike pop, I won’t make you give me half your salary,” he added in another text.
Text messages alone are not substantial proof of payments. The HOC has found payments to James Biden, the President’s younger brother, and Hallie Biden, the widow of the President’s late son, Beau, but nothing to Joe Biden of any significant substance.
The Broader Picture
There’s a strategical element to politics, and one the Republicans must consider in the case of impeaching the president.
For a start, support among Republican Representatives is not unanimous.
There are 18 Republicans holding seats in states which Biden won in 2020, and these vulnerable lawmakers must carefully consider their position in a Democratic stronghold.
The Democrats – almost certain to vote against impeachment on the grounds that impeachment a politically motivated stunt – only need five Republicans to side with them should a vote on the matter be held in the House.
Impeaching Joe Biden also extinguishes Republican frontrunner Trump’s argument that he himself is subject to a politically motivated criminal investigation.
If voters realize Democrats can be held accountable just as easily as Republicans, Trump’s repeated “witch hunt” claims lose all sense of meaning.
Although the evidence needed for impeachment is currently not present, that’s not to say that more details could come to light.
As part of the HOC investigation, Chairman James Comer has toyed with the idea of subpoenaing Biden family bank records – a crucial piece of evidence in the Republican argument.
Moreover, Hunter’s criminal proceedings will now be overseen by a special counsel, David Weiss, following his promotion earlier this month.
Weiss, now with additional powers, can issue subpoenas and request search warrants in his search for evidence.
Given that more evidence could be unearthed with no time limit (bar the election) on initiating an impeachment, it should come as no surprise that a formal impeachment is yet to be launched.
Speaker McCarthy has hinted at impeachment in the near future – perhaps to appease Trump’s loyalists – but there remains no indication as to when, if ever, the House will impeach the President.
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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