House Republicans Edge Closer to Biden Impeachment Vote | Politics

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House Republicans appear poised to ramp up their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, facing headwinds amid resistance to comply with the inquiry from the White House.

Three House committees have been investigating whether the president benefited from any of his son Hunter Biden’s overseas business activities, as well as probing other allegations of wrongdoing. But White House counsel has questioned the committees’ legal standing and stymied their path forward as they’ve sought to subpoena the Biden family and others without a chamber-wide vote to formally open the inquiry.

While former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced in September that he would direct the committee leaders to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden, citing a “culture of corruption” around the chief executive, the California Republican opted to forgo what would have likely been a contentious floor vote, opening the inquiry unilaterally in a move that has prompted the White House to call its legal standing into question.

Accordingly, House GOP leadership is reportedly eyeing a floor vote to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry, teasing in a closed-door meeting this week the move, which would give their committees more legal authority as they seek to gain key testimony and compliance with subpoenas issued in recent weeks.

“We have reached the point in the investigation that we need to hear from a handful of really key witnesses in this,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said at a news conference focused on the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday following the closed-door conference meeting.

Indeed, the ongoing investigation has thus far failed to turn up evidence to further Republican impeachment efforts, but GOP members say what they have unearthed paints a pattern of so-called “influence peddling” by Biden’s family members.

“Joe Biden has repeatedly lied to the American people about his family’s corrupt influence peddling schemes,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said on Wednesday. “Our investigation has revealed how Joe Biden knew of, participated in and benefited from his family cashing in on the Biden name around the world.”

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At the center of the investigation is Hunter Biden, who Comer subpoenaed for testimony earlier this month. But the attempt to compel the closed-door deposition has so far been in vain as the younger Biden’s lawyers wrote in a letter to the committee on Tuesday that he is only willing to testify publicly before Congress, saying that he did not trust Republicans to provide a truthful account of what might transpire.

Comer was quick to reject the offer, arguing in a statement that he expects Hunter Biden to appear on Dec.13 for a closed-door deposition. But he noted that he would also welcome Hunter Biden’s testimony before a public hearing “at a future date.”

The episode occurred after White House counsel had questioned the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry in a letter to the committees, arguing that the subpoenas should be withdrawn because a formal inquiry had not been authorized by a House vote. The letter notes that Republicans notably made the same argument when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unilaterally opened an impeachment inquiry against former President Donald Trump.

Without mention of a floor vote on the issue, Comer said the committees plan to interview members of the Biden family and their associates over the next two months, noting that “no one is above the law, even if your last name is Biden.”

Meanwhile, House Republicans have leaned into the inquiry, as GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said they “have and will continue to follow the facts, uncovering more damning evidence each and every day,” while announcing the establishment of an impeachment inquiry website for updates from the committees.

Stefanik outlined to reporters on Wednesday that the committees have found over $10 million from China, Russia, Ukraine and Romania “funneled through the corrupt influence peddling schemes to line the pockets of the Biden crime family.” She also accused the Justice Department and other federal agencies of playing “coverup” by attacking Trump to distract from Biden’s “failings.” And she said that Biden has lied about his awareness of and involvement in “his family’s corrupt, influence peddling schemes.”

But even as Republicans have touted uncovering more “damning” facts – though they have yet to release any direct evidence – as they consider a chamber-wide vote to formally open the inquiry, it remains unclear whether vulnerable Republicans in swing districts that Biden won in the last election would vote to open the impeachment inquiry into the president. And their support will be necessary with a razor-thin GOP majority in the chamber.

Still, Johnson signaled that House Republicans will move forward with the inquiry, in one way or another.

“We owe it to the American people to continue this process but to do it methodically and transparently,” Johnson said. “You don’t rush something like this.”

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