House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that he is calling on a trio of House committees to move ahead in opening a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden, escalating the panels’ access to obtaining the sought-out bank records and other documents into Biden’s family, especially his son, Hunter Biden, and his foreign business dealings
“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption. They warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives. Today, I am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden,” McCarthy said in brief remarks outside his office Tuesday
“This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather the full facts and answers for the American public,” McCarthy noted. “That’s exactly what we want to know — the answers. I believe the president would want to answer these questions and allegations as well.”
“I do not make this decision lightly,” McCarthy added. “Regardless of your party, or who you voted for, these facts concern all Americans.”
According to multiple sources, McCarthy gave his leadership team and committee chairs a heads-up before making Tuesday’s announcement. Punchbowl was first to report McCarthy’s expected announcement on opening an impeachment inquiry early Tuesday morning.
The move in directing the 3 panels — the House Judiciary Committee led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH); Oversight led by Rep. James Comer (R-KY); and Ways and Means Committee led by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) to open a formal inquiry means that the House Speaker is bypassing holding a full floor vote to formally authorize the effort. While a vote is not required to launch a formal impeachment inquiry but can be beneficial in adding legitimacy to the effort, the announcement is not a vote to impeach Biden. The move, however, does provide the three House Committees who are currently investigating the Biden family with new extraordinary investigative and law enforcement powers, helping them to dig much deeper into their investigation by being able to compel testimony and enforcing their subpoenas powers.
Democrats blasted the inquiry as an effort to shift attention from Republicans’ own struggles to govern, as well as the legal woes of former President Trump, who despite being their party’s top contender to face Biden, is currently faces four separate criminal indictments.
The announcement marks a huge reversal move from McCarthy who previously said he wouldn’t open an inquiry without a vote, and a move that Democrats are also highlighting as hypocritical after he previously lambasted former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) move back in 2019 when she simply announced by proclamation that the Democratic-led House would be conducting an impeachment inquiry into then-President Trump for his first impeachment. It wasn’t until weeks later the House would formally vote on opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump that the votes on such a move were down partisan lines.
Early this month, McCarthy told Breitbart News that any effort to move forward with an impeachment inquiry would first come in a formal House vote, a move now that the House Speaker isn’t following through.
“To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes. The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives,” McCarthy told Breitbart News. “That’s why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person.”
Several Republicans from both chambers, despite some being frequent critics of Biden and his administration have said that launching such a probe is a bad idea and could backfire politically and give the president a boost for his re-election bid. Some House Republicans, especially those in swing districts or districts Biden overwhelmingly carried in 2020 are also pushing back against the impeachment effort, citing the distraction will be harder to paint Biden as out of touch on other important issues that are currently hurting the president in national polls from the economy to national security.
It’s unclear if McCarthy has enough support nor the 218 votes from his narrow 221-222 majority if he were to hold a floor vote to formally authorize the effort. According to a source familiar with the effort said that McCarthy will not put this move up on the House floor until House Republican leadership first finalizes their whip votes, something that has not been done as of yet.
Meanwhile, several hardline Republicans have said they would not vote for spending bills to keep the government funded by the start of the new fiscal year on October 1st if McCarthy didn’t move ahead with an impeachment inquiry. Some of those House Conservatives growing increasingly impatient with McCarthy have threatened to oust him from his speakership if he didn’t move swiftly with an inquiry once lawmakers had returned from Summer recess.
In response to McCarthy’s announcement, spokesman for White House counsel Ian Sams called the move “extreme politics at its worst.”
“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… He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment, now he flip-flopped because he doesn’t have support… Extreme politics at its worst,” Sams tweeted in a post to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.CongressHouseHouse Judiciary CommitteeHouse Oversight CommitteeHouse Ways and Means CommitteeHunter BidenImpeachmentImpeachment InquiryPresident BidenSpeaker Kevin McCarthy