(Washington) The Republican leader of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, announced Tuesday that he was launching an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden into his son’s controversial affairs abroad.
“I am asking a House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry,” declared the Republican leader of Congress, believing that the Democratic leader had “lied” to the American people.
The White House immediately denounced this investigation, launched a little over a year before the 2024 presidential election, accusing the Republicans of resorting to the “worst extreme political maneuvers”.
“Culture of corruption”
The U.S. Constitution provides that Congress can impeach the president for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The Republicans in the House of Representatives, in the majority since January, are conducting a series of parliamentary investigations into the affairs of Joe Biden’s youngest son.
These elected officials have “identified serious and credible allegations about the conduct of President Biden,” assured Kevin McCarthy, accusing the Democrat of fueling a “culture of corruption”.
“President Biden lied to the American people about what he knew about his family’s overseas business dealings,” the Speaker of the House of Representatives accused.
“House Republicans have investigated the president for nine months and have not found a single evidence of wrongdoing,” Ian Sams, a White House spokesperson, responded on the social network formerly called Twitter.
However, for the moment this investigation has almost no chance of leading to the impeachment of Joe Biden, his party having a majority in the Senate. The upper house would in fact be called upon to judge the president if he were indicted by elected officials.
Hunter, problem son
Hunter Biden, a 53-year-old former businessman, has become a favorite target of the American right.
Elected officials criticize him in particular for having done questionable deals in Ukraine and China while Joe Biden was Barack Obama’s vice-president (2009-2017), taking advantage of his father’s name and networks.
The 80-year-old president has always publicly supported his son, with a past riddled with addictions, who is also in trouble with the law, accused of illegal possession of a firearm.
The opening of impeachment proceedings has been demanded for months by the Trumpist wing of the Republican Party, with which leader Kevin McCarthy had to make numerous compromises to gain access to the perch in January.
Several moderate elected officials from the Republican Party, however, are opposed to the opening of this investigation, for fear of transforming the procedure into a purely partisan exercise.
This investigation will be led by James Comer, head of the House Investigative Committee and Jim Jordan, head of the Judiciary Committee; two detractors of Joe Biden.
“Based on the evidence at our disposal, we support the opening of an impeachment inquiry,” these allies of Kevin McCarthy said in a joint statement.
Johnson, Clinton, Trump
The Democrats respond that these right-wing efforts are only screens used to hide the legal troubles that are accumulating for Donald Trump. The 77-year-old former president, who could face Joe Biden again in November 2024, has been indicted four times in less than six months.
“There is no evidence in this case, just an order issued by Trump to dismiss” his political rival, denounced elected Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Never has a president been impeached in American history. Three were impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021. But all were ultimately acquitted.
Richard Nixon preferred to resign in 1974 to avoid certain impeachment by Congress due to the Watergate scandal.