Republican leader in the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, yielded to pressure from the right wing of the party on Tuesday by announcing his agreement to begin procedures aimed at removing Democratic President Joe Biden over the dealings of his son Hunter, in a move that comes a year before the presidential elections.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives said, “I ask a committee in the House of Representatives to launch official investigations into the existence of grounds for Biden impeachment”.
McCarthy added, “the President lied to the American people about his son’s controversial actions abroad”.
McCarthy explained that Republicans in the House of Representatives revealed serious and credible allegations about President Biden’s behavior, accusing the Democratic president of fueling a culture of corruption.
Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China while his father was vice president under Barack Obama have long been a target of Republicans.
However, no credible evidence has yet emerged that the president is involved in any illegal activity.
Hunter Biden, 53, who has recovered from a previous drug addiction, is currently under investigation by a special prosecutor from the US Department of Justice regarding possible tax evasion, and is expected to be charged at the end of September with another federal crime: possession of a firearm.
However, Hunter wasn’t charged with crimes related to his business dealings outside the United States.
For months, McCarthy has been under pressure from the right wing of the party to open an investigation into the existence of grounds for impeaching Biden, who is 80 years old and is seeking a second presidential term in the elections scheduled for November 2024.
The White House was quick to denounce the political motives of the Republican decision.
White House spokesman Ian Sams, wrote on X platform, “House Republicans investigated the president for nine months and found no evidence of any wrongdoing”.
McCarthy, who had to compromise with the far-right in his party to win the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, said that allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption against Biden, call for further investigation by the House of Representatives.
He added, “We found that President Biden lied to the American people about his knowledge of his families’ foreign business dealings,” adding that bank records show the transfer of payments of about $20 million to members of the Biden family and their partners through various fictitious companies.
The committee which is dominated by Republicans will investigate whether there are grounds for impeaching the president, as McCarthy stressed out that, “We’ll go where the evidence takes us”.
The Republican leader in the House of Representatives, whose stay in his position is linked to the votes of the extreme right wing, had pledged to put the investigation issue to a vote before initiating impeachment procedures.
But he backed down under pressure from the right wing of the party, and for fear that he would not be able to collect enough votes in the council.
Under the US Constitution, the president can be impeached in cases of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
A number of moderate Republican representatives expressed their doubts about the issue of Biden’s impeachment.
Democratic representatives denounced the move, saying that it was a purely partisan exercise aimed at retaliation for the double impeachment attempt made by the House of Representatives against former Republican President Donald Trump.
Democratic Representative from Florida, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said, “There is no evidence… All there is just an order from Trump to begin impeachment proceedings”.
As for Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, a member of the committee that will undertake the investigation, he stressed that there is no basis for starting this alleged investigation.
He added, “President Biden didn’t commit anything wrong… Speaker McCarthy may succeed in retaining his position for an additional day, but he has once again yielded to the most extreme elements in the Republican Party”.
Trump is considered the most likely to obtain the Republican Party nomination to face Biden in the 2024 elections.
However, as of next March, the former president faces trial procedures in Washington in the case of attempting to tamper with the results of the 2020 presidential elections, which he lost to Biden.
Trump, who won the 2016 elections at the expense of Hillary Clinton, faced impeachment proceedings twice by the House of Representatives during his four-year term, the first when it was proven that he withheld military aid from Ukraine while demanding that it reveal information incriminating Biden, and the second for inciting rebellion to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory in 2020.