Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Republican Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday (12/9/2023) announced that he had instructed three Republican-led committees to launch an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden.
“This next logical step would be to give our committee full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public,” McCarthy was quoted as saying CNBC International.
He claimed that Biden had lied to the American people about his knowledge of his family’s foreign business dealings.
The investigation will be led by Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, in coordination with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Jason Smith, Mo., who chairs the Ways and Means Committee.
Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, said House Republicans have been investigating Biden for nine months and found no evidence of wrongdoing.
McCarthy apparently abandoned his previous vow that the impeachment inquiry would be carried out by a vote in the House. His decision to direct the committee to launch an investigation without a vote suggests that he does not have enough support in the House to move forward with his investigation.
Senate Republicans had expressed skepticism over the summer that the House had found enough evidence to justify an impeachment inquiry.
The Republican-led House Oversight Committee launched an investigation in January into allegations that Biden profited from the business dealings of his son, Hunter, when he was vice president.
Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, called the Republican investigation an “utter failure.”
“The wealth of evidence they collected, including thousands of pages of bank records and suspicious activity reports as well as hours of testimony from witnesses, collectively shows that President Biden has done nothing wrong and further refutes Republican conspiracy theories,” Raskin said.
McCarthy has been under pressure from members of his party’s right wing to attack Biden more directly ahead of the 2024 presidential election, demands that took on new weight this fall as Congress faces a looming deadline at the end of the month to avoid a government shutdown.
The House speaker needs to pass a stopgap budget to avoid a government shutdown, but right-wing Republicans are demanding action on impeachment in return for their support to keep the government operating.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia explicitly said she would not vote to fund the government unless the House opened an impeachment inquiry into Biden.
Greene has advocated for Biden’s impeachment since the day he was inaugurated, and she filed formal articles of impeachment against Biden on his first day in office in 2021.
Claims like Greene’s, which link two unrelated events, underscore the conflicting pressures McCarthy faces as he tries to quell restive conservatives in his caucus while preventing a government shutdown.
But there was also resistance to McCarthy’s proposal from Republicans.
Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, a top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and Freedom Caucus, expressed strong reservations recently about the prospect of voting to impeach Biden in the House.
“The timing of impeachment is when there is evidence linking President Biden – if there is evidence linking President Biden to high crimes or misdemeanors. That doesn’t exist right now,” Buck said.
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