House Republicans vote to formalize Biden impeachment inquiry

December 13, 2023

The GOP-led House approved a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden–despite Republicans having failed to produce any direct evidence linking him to high crimes or misdemeanors.

The number of votes needed for passage was 216. The final vote was 221-212 in favor of the inquiry, strictly down party lines.

Then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)—since ousted from the House leadership position and announced his resignation at year’s end—opened the impeachment inquiry into the President back in September, despite lacking support at the time from House GOP moderates and very little support in the Senate, including from Republicans in the upper chamber.

But current Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA)—who has recognized that many GOP members don’t believe Biden has committed impeachable offenses—presented the upcoming vote as an attempt to continue the House’s investigation into the Biden family’s finances with more powers.

And in fact, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) told NBC News last week that he believed he would the only Republican in the House who was planning to vote no. On Wednesday he joined his fellow Republicans in voting yes for the impeachment inquiry. 

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson Viet Shelton pushed back on Monday, saying, “If House Republicans took the time to look at their local newspaper, they would know that the public isn’t interested in wasting any more time on a sham impeachment.”

The House Republicans’ resolution to green light the Biden impeachment inquiry reads almost verbatim to the resolution Democrats passed in 2019 into the impeachment of then-President Trump—except the Republicans have left out any language requiring their investigation to be transparent.

The Democrats’ 2019 resolution read, “Open and transparent investigative proceedings by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”

By contrast, the current Republican resolution reads, “Investigative proceedings by the Committee on Oversight and Accountability”—omitting the words “open and transparent.” 

Even so, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) has insisted, “Everything we’ve done in this committee has been transparent. I would argue this is the most transparent congressional investigation in history.”

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden was scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill Wednesday as well for closed-door deposition. He was not expected to participate, however, as he had put forward a counter-offer to testify publicly which Republicans have rebuffed—despite Comer’s assertion of transparency—threatening instead to hold the President’s son in contempt of Congress.

On Wednesday morning, Hunter Biden spoke in Washington, stating he was ready to testify publicly and acknowledging responsibility for “mistakes in my life and wasted opportunities.

He then added, “Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not financially involved in my business…during my battle with addiction, my parents were there for me. They literally saved my life…to suggest that is grounds for an impeachment inquiry is beyond the absurd.”

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