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House Republicans Pass Resolution to Formalize Impeachment Inquiry into President Biden

House Republicans formalized the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden with a party-line vote of 221-212 on Wednesday. The resolution directs three House committees to continue investigations into claims regarding Biden’s involvement in his family’s foreign business dealings.

Legal Standing and Obstruction Allegations

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The vote was necessary to fortify the legal standing of the inquiry and combat any obstruction from the Biden administration.

Republicans also argued that the resolution was critical for overcoming future challenges to congressional requests.

White House Response to Congressional Requests

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The White House has challenged congressional requests on these grounds in the past, saying “Constitution requires that the full House authorize an impeachment inquiry before a committee may utilize compulsory process pursuant to the impeachment power. “

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House GOP Leaders Issue Joint Statement

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After the resolution’s approval, House GOP leaders issued a joint statement, pledging to follow the facts. The statement read, “The American people deserve answers. This impeachment inquiry will help us find them”.

Biden’s Critique of GOP Priorities

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President Biden responded, accusing Republicans of ignoring pressing challenges facing the nation. He stated that instead of addressing urgent matters, they were focused on attacking him with what he termed as “lies.”

Emphasis on Inquiry Not Equaling Impeachment

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House Majority Whip Tom Emmer clarified that voting for the resolution did not equate to an immediate impeachment. Speaker Mike Johnson said that they couldn’t “prejudge the outcome.”

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White House Calls It a “Political Stunt”

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The White House labeled the inquiry a “political stunt,” asserting that Republicans had already received thousands of documents and hours of testimony.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre similarly dismissed the claim for impeachment, stating, “There’s no evidence here.”

Hunter Biden’s Public Testimony

Credit: WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JULY 26: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse on July 26, 2023 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photographer: Mark Makela/Getty Images North America

Hunter Biden, a key figure in the GOP probe, defied a subpoena for a closed-door deposition. Instead, he appeared outside the Capitol, offering public testimony and challenging Republicans to an open process to address what he called baseless inquiries.

Hunter Biden’s Defense and Accusations

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Hunter defended his father, stating unequivocally that Joe Biden was not financially involved in any of his business dealings. He criticized “MAGA Republicans,” accusing them of attempting to damage his father politically through character attacks.

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GOP’s Plan to Hold Hunter Biden in Contempt

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House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer announced plans to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for defying the subpoena. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan seized on Hunter Biden’s statement, highlighting his father’s purported lack of “financial involvement.” Jordan characterized this as a significant departure from past statements.

Jordan’s Advocacy for Closed-Door Deposition

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Jim Jordan argued that a closed-door deposition would have been more effective. He told reporters, “If you do it in an open format now, you’re gonna get filibusters, you’re gonna get speeches, you’re gonna get all kinds of things. What we want is the facts.”

Impeachment Inquiry Extending into 2024

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The impeachment inquiry vote ensures the continuation of the GOP-led investigation into 2024. This coincides with the upcoming presidential race, raising the possibility that it might be able to influence some voters to vote against President Joe Biden.

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Dueling Perspectives in Pre-Vote Debate

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The hour-long debate preceding the vote provided a glimpse into both sides’ perspectives. Republicans argued that the resolution and investigation were about due process, while Democrats criticized it as a political smear campaign.

Democratic Criticism as a Political Hit Job

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House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries accused Republicans of launching an illegitimate impeachment inquiry as a political hit job directed by former President Trump. He portrayed the effort as a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.

Lack of Clarity on Biden’s Alleged Crime

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Rep. Jamie Raskin, a constitutional scholar, pointed out that Republicans couldn’t specify President Biden’s alleged crime. He labeled the investigation a “stupid, blundering” hindrance to meaningful work for the American people. Rep. Jamie had earlier led the second impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

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Republicans’ Sense of Duty in Investigation

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House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole emphasized the House’s duty to investigate claims against the president and his family. During the debate, he said “I take no joy in today’s resolution, but I know the House will do its duty.”

Sole Power of Impeachment

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Rep. Tom McClintock echoed the sentiment, stating that the country deserves to get to the bottom of the allegations. He talked about the House’s unique role as the sole institution with the power of impeachment.

Impact of the Impeachment Inquiry on 2024 Presidential Race

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The extension of the impeachment inquiry into 2024 comes at a time when the presidential race is heating up. The ongoing investigation will become politically significant if it continues for the next few months.

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