House Republicans launched an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden on Thursday, saying they intend to “provide accountability” as they make their case to the public, their colleagues, and skeptics.
The inquiry is focused on Hunter Biden’s business dealings and whether President Biden used his office for personal gain. Republicans have not yet provided any evidence of impeachable offenses, but they say they have “a mountain of evidence” that will show that the elder Biden abused his power.
Democrats on the panel have questioned the priorities of their Republican colleagues, saying that they are launching an impeachment drive based on “a long debunked and discredited lie.” They have also accused Republicans of rehashing old allegations and failing to investigate more serious issues.
The impeachment inquiry comes as a potential federal government shutdown looms. Democrats have criticized Republicans for focusing on impeachment instead of addressing the government funding crisis.
Jamie Raskin, the leading Democrat on the committee, remarked, “We’re 62 hours away from shutting down the government of the United States of America and Republicans are launching an impeachment drive, based on a long debunked and discredited lie.” He pointed out that Republicans are revisiting accusations from five years ago, initially brought up during Donald Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, regarding his actions related to Ukraine.
Outside Experts Weigh In
The hearing on Thursday featured testimony from outside experts in tax law, criminal investigations, and constitutional legal theory. Two Republican witnesses said that there was currently no evidence that reached the level necessary for the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.
A top Republican witness, Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University professor and expert in impeachment issues, said that he believed the House had passed the threshold for an inquiry but that the current evidence was not enough to merit charges.
“I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment,” said Turley.
Turley said that there was a duty to launch an inquiry into what seemed like corrupt “influence peddling,” though he allowed that such activities do not always rise to the level of law breaking.
Bruce Dubinsky, a forensic accountant, told the hearing that nothing he’s seen connects the president to illicit activities.
Republicans Unveil New Documents
In the run-up to the hearing, Republicans unveiled a tranche of new documents and bank records that detail wire transfers from a Chinese businessman to Hunter Biden in 2019. Hunter Biden had listed his father’s address on the wire transfer form, which Republicans say provided a clear link to the president.
Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, said that the address on the wire transfer, which he says was a loan, was listed to the president’s Delaware home because it was the address on Hunter Biden’s driver’s license and “his only permanent address at the time.”
Outlook for Impeachment
With a slim margin in the House, it’s not clear that Republicans have the votes to impeach Joe Biden should formal proceedings occur. And with Democrats holding the majority in the Senate, Biden’s conviction and removal from office is a near impossibility.
Despite the long odds, Republicans are moving forward with the impeachment inquiry. They say that it is their duty to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings and to hold President Biden accountable for any wrongdoing.
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