House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced his intent to open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, amid mounting pressure from far-right Republicans and a still-unresolved spending bill deadlock.
The inquiry covers allegations that the Biden family has been involved in corruption and abuse of power, following probes by House Republicans into the business dealing of Biden’s son Hunter. McCarthy announced that these “warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives,” and directed the House Oversight Committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry.
While Hunter Biden has recently faced criminal investigations related to overdue taxes and possible money laundering, the President maintains that he has no direct involvement in his son’s business dealings, and Republicans have yet to turn up any evidence to the contrary. House Republicans have also alleged that both were involved in a bribery scheme during Bidne’s vice presidency, and that Hunter Biden sold the illusion of access to his father to clients.
The White House condemned the motion as an act of extreme partisan politics, with spokesperson Ian Sams stating that, “House Republicans have been investigating the president for nine months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.”
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries likewise denounced the effort as “an illegitimate impeachment inquiry.”
The motion also comes after several months of the House failing to pass a spending bill. If it cannot do so by Sept. 30, or pass a temporary measure to roll current spending levels over through an agreed-upon date, the government will undergo a partial shutdown.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., threatened to file a motion to vacate if McCarthy agrees to a stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown, and called the impeachment inquiry a “baby step” by the Speaker.
“The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into immediate total compliance or remove you, pursuant to a motion to vacate the chair,” Gaetz said.
McCarthy dismissed this threat, as he previously has when threatened by Gaetz. “The one thing I make very clear, he can threaten all he wants, I will not inject the speaker into the independent ethics committee to influence in any way at all,” he said.