The House GOP, continuing its intensified scrutiny of President Biden, released a resolution on Thursday to formally authorize its months-long impeachment inquiry, with a House vote set for the upcoming week.
This development marks a significant step in the investigative process that commenced in September under the then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
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House GOP advances formal impeachment inquiry against Biden
The resolution states that the House committees involved in the inquiry are “directed to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Joseph Biden.”
This declaration sets the stage for a markup scheduled for Tuesday.
Republican leaders believe that formalizing the inquiry will bolster the legal foundation of the probe and enhance their capacity to compel evidence, especially if these efforts face judicial challenges.
House GOP responds to White House, formalizes impeachment inquiry
The White House, in response to subpoenas and interview requests issued in November, had previously contended that the GOP’s impeachment inquiry was unconstitutional due to the absence of a formal House vote.
In light of the White House’s stance, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) acknowledged the GOP’s decision to formalize the inquiry.
“Constitutionally, it’s not required. Speaker said we’re [in] an impeachment inquiry, [then] we’re in an impeachment inquiry,” Jordan stated.
He added, “But if you have a vote of the full House of Representatives and the majority say we’re in that official status as part of our overall oversight work or constitutional oversight duty that we have, it just helps us in court.”
Democrats, White House label GOP’s impeachment inquiry as ‘baseless stunt’
Democrats and the White House have been quick to highlight the hesitance of some Republicans regarding the impeachment, especially considering the outcry from the GOP when then-President Trump’s impeachment began without a formal vote.
However, those same GOP members differentiate between authorizing an inquiry and voting on actual impeachment articles.
The White House criticized the inquiry resolution as a “baseless stunt.”
White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, Ian Sams, remarked, “This baseless stunt is not rooted in facts or reality but in extreme House Republicans’ shameless desire to abuse their power to smear President Biden.”
Sams highlights contrast between Biden’s goals and GOP’s tactics
Sams also pointed out the contrasting priorities between President Biden, focused on addressing national and global challenges, and House Republicans, whom he accused of engaging in “stupid stunts to get attention for themselves.”
The House’s Judiciary, Oversight, and Ways and Means committees have been investigating the Biden family’s finances and a Justice Department probe into Hunter Biden’s tax issues.
The new resolution, however, provides little recognition of their prior efforts, focusing instead on establishing evidence management protocols and drafting a report on their findings.
One key challenge for the inquiry has been linking President Biden to his son’s activities, particularly proving allegations that the president accepted a bribe.
Impeachment inquiry revisits debunked claims from Trump’s presidency
Much of this inquiry is based on information that emerged during Trump’s impeachment, which involved allegations of pressuring Ukrainian officials for details on Biden.
The narrative that Biden, as vice president, pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to aid his son, who was on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, has been largely discredited.
Biden’s actions aligned with the advice of the State Department and the international community, who accused the prosecutor of failing to tackle corruption.