House Republicans are gearing up for their first impeachment inquiry hearing into President Joe Biden, scheduled for September 28. The focus of this hearing will be on “constitutional and legal questions” surrounding the allegations of Biden’s involvement in his son Hunter’s overseas business ventures, according to a spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee.
Republican leaders, led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have been asserting in recent weeks that Biden’s actions during his time as vice president demonstrate a “culture of corruption,” further claiming that his son leveraged the “Biden brand” to advance business interests with foreign clients.
Subpoenas for the personal and business bank records of Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden are expected to be issued “as early as this week,” announced Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of Oversight. McCarthy appointed Comer to spearhead the inquiry in collaboration with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Ways & Means Chairman Jason Smith.
White House Criticism and Political Landscape
The White House has strongly criticized the impeachment inquiry effort, deeming it “extreme politics at its worst” and accusing House Republicans of prioritizing baseless personal attacks on President Biden over preventing a potential government shutdown at the end of the month.
McCarthy initiated the impeachment inquiry last week, under growing pressure from his party’s right flank to take action against Biden. This move is viewed as an attempt to divert attention from the legal challenges faced by former President Donald Trump, now the Republican frontrunner to challenge Biden in the upcoming election.
Impeachment Inquiry Dynamics and Background
The impeachment inquiry is expected to build upon the investigative work conducted by Comer and others since the Republicans gained the House majority in January. One significant investigative focus involves tracing the financial transactions within Hunter Biden’s and James Biden’s various business accounts.
While Chairman Comer has repeatedly claimed that the Biden family engaged in an influence-peddling scheme, a direct tie to the president himself has yet to be established. The allegations are largely centered on an unverified tip to the FBI that suggested a bribery scheme involving Biden during his time as vice president.
Democrats counter these claims by pointing out that the Justice Department had previously investigated the alleged bribery scheme and found insufficient evidence to pursue the matter. They argue that the impeachment inquiry is driven more by political motives than genuine concerns regarding constitutional standards.
The impeachment inquiry is a significant step in the direction of potentially impeaching the president, a constitutional tool that has been relatively rare in Congress until recent times. The Sept. 28 hearing will mark a crucial moment as House Republicans intensify their efforts to scrutinize Biden’s actions and connections.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.