Whatever happened to the Biden impeachment inquiry?: Less than a month ago, House Republicans held the first hearing in an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. Amid the House speakership chaos, not much has happened.
Joe Biden: The Impeachment Threat Over?
On September 28, which was just over three weeks ago, House Republicans held the first hearing in their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, which had been announced earlier that month by then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
In that hearing, which lasted for over six hours, the Republicans struggled to come up with proof of any direct wrongdoing by the president in the business dealings of his son Hunter. The biggest headline from the first day was that Jonathan Turley, the law professor who often takes to the media to advance the Republican position on legal questions, said under oath as an expert witness that “I do not believe that the evidence currently meets the standard of a high crime and misdemeanor needed for an article of impeachment.”
That hearing, in fact, was so poorly received that Republicans reportedly eyed an immediate “reset”- Politico reported that some in the GOP caucus were pushing to take the impeachment away from House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R-KY) and give it instead to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Amid the subsequent dismissal of McCarthy, and the GOP’s continuing struggles to find a new speaker, impeachment has returned safely to the back burner in recent weeks, with the House unable to take up any business at all with no speaker in place. Furthermore, the question of whether to impeach Biden has been nowhere near the center of the fights over who will be the next speaker. In fact, it’s barely been in the news at all in the month of October.
The Oversight Committee, on Friday, did release what it called “evidence of direct payment to Joe Biden,” which it painted in conspiratorial tones. But it turned out the “direct payment” to Biden was not from a foreign government or suspicious entity, but rather his own brother, as repayment of a loan, at a time when Biden was neither in office nor running for office.
“Make No Mistake: House Republicans will continue to follow the facts and evidence wherever they may lead as we continue our impeachment inquiry into President Biden,” the announcement of the “payment” by the House GOP said.
It was pretty clear the Republicans’ heart wasn’t in this particular accusation, especially since it arrived on a Friday afternoon.
Is it possible that the GOP will take up the impeachment inquiry again, once a new speaker is chosen? Sure.
Also on the back burner, it would appear? The idea of “expunging” former President Trump’s two impeachments. Politico reported back in July that McCarthy, then still the speaker, had promised Trump that the House would vote, before the August recess, to expunge the two impeachments, in lieu of endorsing Trump’s presidential campaign.
McCarthy did not do this, and no vote has been taken to date on expungement; the Politico piece stated that there had been some pushback within the Republican conference to the idea. McCarthy also never endorsed Trump for president, although his endorsement would likely not be worth much these days.
“I’m for Trump,” one senior GOP member told Politico in July. “The problem is: If you have an expungement, and it goes to the floor and fails — which it probably will — then the media will treat it like it’s a third impeachment, and it will show disunity among Republican ranks. It’s a huge strategic risk.”
Following the collapse last week of Jordan’s bid, nine candidates are running currently for House Speaker, including Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-MS), Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), Rep Byron Daniels (R-FL), Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL), and Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA).
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.