McCarthy, Republicans Looking Into Impeachment for Biden

( – The most senior Republican in the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, has announced the commencement of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. McCarthy stated that the inquiry’s primary focus would be on “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption” attributed to President Biden.

Since gaining control of the House in January, Republicans have been conducting investigations into the President. These investigations have failed to produce any concrete evidence of misconduct by President Biden. Nevertheless, they have brought attention to the business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, which Republicans find questionable. They have also examined President Biden’s awareness of his son’s activities.

In a brief statement at the US Capitol, McCarthy asserted that there were “serious and credible” allegations concerning the President’s behavior and that when taken together, these allegations depicted a culture of corruption.

The White House swiftly denounced McCarthy’s decision. White House spokesperson Ian Sams stated on social media that House Republicans had been investigating the President for nine months without finding any evidence of wrongdoing.

Hunter Biden is presently under federal investigation for potential tax crimes linked to his foreign business interests.

McCarthy, a California lawmaker, additionally claimed that the President’s family had received special treatment from Biden administration officials during investigations into allegations of misconduct. The White House has denied any involvement in Hunter Biden’s case and emphasized that President Biden has no connections to his son’s business operations.

This impeachment inquiry will grant congressional investigators more substantial legal authority, allowing them to issue subpoenas for documents and testimonies that can be more effectively enforced in court.

According to the US Constitution, a President can be impeached for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors,” a process that could lead to their removal from office. However, any attempt to remove President Biden would likely face significant obstacles. The House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a narrow 222-212 majority, would need to vote in favor of impeachment, followed by a Senate trial and vote. Given that Democrats have a majority in the Senate, they would likely reject the proceedings if they reach that stage.

Former President Donald Trump, who is the only US President to be impeached twice, was acquitted both times by fellow Republicans. McCarthy, who leads Republicans in the House as Speaker, has been under pressure from right-wing members to initiate an impeachment inquiry for several weeks.

Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, a close ally of former President Trump, characterized the announcement as “a small step” in response to weeks of pressure from House conservatives. Gaetz had previously threatened to force a vote to remove McCarthy from his leadership position if he didn’t initiate an impeachment investigation.

McCarthy’s grip on power in the House has been fragile since he assumed the top position in January after a record 15 rounds of voting in the chamber. Currently, he is working to guide a series of spending bills through the House, which must be approved by Congress by the end of September to prevent a partial government shutdown.

McCarthy’s decision to support impeachment may be seen as an effort to garner support from right-wing House Republicans ahead of budget battles. However, this strategy carries risks, as centrist Republicans in competitive districts have expressed concerns that aggressive impeachment efforts may alienate independent and moderate voters who helped secure their victories. McCarthy holds a 10-seat majority in the chamber, so even a small number of hesitant Republicans could lead to the failure of impeachment.

Some vulnerable House Republicans have indicated that they are more focused on ongoing congressional investigations into President Biden rather than supporting an impeachment inquiry.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons stated in an interview with the BBC that “Speaker McCarthy appears to be influenced by the most extreme elements of his Republican majority.”

Democrats are already highlighting McCarthy’s criticism of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in 2019 when she initiated an impeachment inquiry into President Trump without holding a formal vote.

While McCarthy has only stated his approval for an impeachment inquiry at this point, pressure will likely mount for a formal authorization vote in the House to establish the rules for impeachment hearings. Such a vote would hold centrists accountable and provide ammunition for Democratic attacks during the November 2024 general election.

This, however, is a concern for the future, and for now, McCarthy is focused on preventing open rebellion by conservative members of Congress and avoiding a vote on his removal from office. The prospect of impeachment, or at least movement toward it, could provide him with the political maneuvering room he needs to navigate the months ahead.