The House GOP is taking a formal step toward impeachment, alleging a "culture of corruption" in the Biden family
Alleging a "culture of corruption," McCarthy accused Biden of lying "to the American people about his own knowledge of his family's foreign business dealings."
"Today, I am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden," McCarthy said in a press conference. Calling it a "logical next step," the speaker accused Biden of "abuse of power, corruption and obstruction," and claimed the president had "used his official office to coordinate with" his son Hunter Biden's various business dealings.
"We will go wherever the evidence takes us," McCarthy said in ending his speech, before leaving without taking questions from the press.
If impeached, Biden would almost certainly be acquitted by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, though the move is being seen as largely ceremonial (and, some critics say, retaliatory for Donald Trump's impeachments).
Shortly after the inquiry was announced, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations Ian Sams posted on X, "House Republicans have been investigating the President for 9 months, and they've turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. His own GOP members have said so."
Sams continued by addressing McCarthy's admission that there would be no House vote on whether to open an impeachment inquiry, implying that it was an executive decision. "He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment, now he flip flopped because he doesn't have support," Sams wrote. "Extreme politics at its worst."
News that the House GOP is taking steps toward an impeachment proceeding of Biden isn't surprising, considering McCarthy has floated the idea in recent interviews.
In July, he told Fox News that if Republicans believed they weren't getting the information they needed from Biden while they investigate the finances of the president and his son, Hunter, they "would have to rise to the level of impeachment inquiry."
The announcement also comes on the heels of reported pressure from Trump.
Trump, who is currently leading in Republican primary polls ahead of the 2024 presidential election, said at a campaign rally in August that any Republicans who don't support an impeachment of Biden should be "primaried and get out" of office.
"We got a lot of good, tough Republicans around," Trump, 77, added at the time. "People are going to run against them and people are going to win.”
House Republicans don't have much time to consider impeachment — which comes at a crucial moment, as representatives currently have just a three-week window during which to vote on important pieces of legislation needed to avert a government shutdown.
Some Republicans have acknowledged it will be difficult to rush the process, though not everyone is convinced.
Controversial Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — who filed impeachment articles on Biden just after he was sworn into office, in 2020 — seemingly changed her tune recently, writing last week on X: “Our country deserves for Congress to vote for an impeachment inquiry for very important reasons, not a rush impeachment vote.”
In response, fellow Republican Rep. Ken Buck told NBC News host Jen Psaki that the idea that Greene "is someone who should set the timing on impeachment is absurd."
“The time for impeachment is the time when there’s evidence linking President Biden — if there’s evidence linking President Biden to a high crime or misdemeanor," Buck said on Sunday. "That doesn’t exist right now."
Trump's pressure on Republicans to impeach Biden come on the heels of reports that McCarthy privately promised him that the House would vote to "expunge" his own two impeachments.
McCarthy has since pushed back on those reports, though Politico has reported that "Trump brings up the matter in every call he has with McCarthy, prodding the speaker about when he will bring expungement to the floor."
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Trump made history in January 2021 — in the final week of his presidency — by becoming the first commander-in-chief to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives. His first impeachment was for two charges stemming from his role in the Ukraine scandal. His second was for "incitement of insurrection" following the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
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