House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made clear on Friday that an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden would only move forward from a formal vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
“To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes,” Mr. McCarthy told Breitbart News.
“The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives,” he continued. “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.”
Earlier this week, Mr. McCarthy suggested that impeachment proceedings against the president may commence soon due to lingering questions arising from the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s inquiries into the Biden family’s business affairs.
Moving forward with a formal impeachment inquiry isn’t equivalent to impeaching the president. However, it signifies a serious progression by the GOP-majority House in its pursuit of this course.
Voting to move forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Biden would need the support of a majority—at least 218 votes in the House. Even if the president were to face impeachment proceedings in the House, the chances of him being removed from office by the Senate are slim, given the Democratic majority in the Senate.
If it happens, the House would be granted “the apex of legal power to get all the information they need” to access the necessary information for investigating whether President Biden improperly used his office to benefit his family’s businesses, the speaker told Fox News.
On Monday, Mr. McCarthy expressed his view that an impeachment inquiry represents a “natural step forward” in the House GOP’s probe of the Biden family.
“If you look at all the information we have been able to gather so far, it is a natural step forward that you would have to go to an impeachment inquiry,” Mr. McCarthy said.
On Monday, Mr. McCarthy argued that initiating the inquiry was necessary to address obstacles faced by congressional investigators in their quest for transparency regarding the business records of the Biden family.
Concerns emerged following testimony from former Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer, who asserted that President Biden had met with Hunter Biden’s business associates during his vice presidency. Additionally, whistleblower claims from the IRS about Hunter Biden’s tax records have raised further questions.
The White House has not refuted Mr. Archer’s allegations. President Biden has consistently denied any involvement in or knowledge of his son’s business dealings.
Not all Republicans are convinced about moving ahead with an impeachment inquiry. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told The Hill that he’d like to see “a direct link to the president in some evidence” of wrongdoing.
“We should have some clear evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor, not just assuming there may be one,” Mr. Bacon said. “I think we need to have more concrete evidence to go down that path.”
Records obtained by Congress related to the Biden family’s business dealings have unveiled that over $20 million in payments from foreign entities had been directed to the president’s relatives, including Hunter Biden, and their business partners during the period when Mr. Biden served as the vice president of the United States, spanning from 2009 to 2017.
Notably, individuals from Romania, China, and Russia were among those making these payments to the Biden family and their associates. The records also demonstrated that these funds had been routed through a network involving at least 20 shell companies before reaching the Biden family members.
Mr. McCarthy has said that questions remain unanswered, such as, “Who was lying [about the allegations made so far], what information went on, who paid, and what foreign governments?”
“And to be able to get the answers to these questions, you would need impeachment inquiry to empower Congress, Republicans, and Democrats to be able to get the answers that the American people deserve to know,” he said.
Aldgra Fredly contributed to this report.