As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, Democrats quickly dismissed the effort.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called it “absurd” while suggesting that McCarthy was making the move in response to pressure from far right House lawmakers. “I have sympathy with Speaker McCarthy. He is in a difficult position. But sometimes you have to tell these people who are way off the deep end…that they can’t go forward with it.”
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McCarthy on Wednesday said that House Republicans had uncovered “serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct. Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”
The inquiry will likely center on what Biden knew about his family’s business dealings. Republicans have tried to link Hunter Biden’s business deals to his father, but they have yet to come up with evidence that the president reaped a windfall from those arrangements.
McCarthy said that the allegations are of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption that warrant further investigation.
But even some other House Republicans say that they have yet to see concrete evidence. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said on MSNBC that he was “reluctant to agree with Speaker McCarthy.” Buck said that he was to get a briefing later in the week on what evidence there is to link Biden to his son’s business. A business partner of Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, testified behind closed doors last month that Joe Biden, when he was vice president, was put on the phone by his son in front of other business associates. But Archer said that Joe Biden’s comments were not over business but merely saying hello.
The inquiry raises the prospect of launching formal impeachment proceedings for the third time in four years. Three presidents have been impeached — President Andrew Johnson, President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump — and Trump was impeached twice. But all have survived the Senate trial.
White House spokesman Ian Sams said, “House Republicans have been investigating the President for 9 months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. His own Republican members have said so. He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment, now he flip flopped because he doesn’t have support. This is extreme politics at its worst.”
McCarthy had previously said that the full House should vote on whether to open an impeachment inquiry. But with Republicans holding a slim majority and far right hardliners insisting on an inquiry, McCarthy chose to order one without such a vote.
McCarthy said “this logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public. …I believe the president would want to answer these questions and allegations as well.”
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