U.S. House Holds First Hearing in Impeachment Inquiry Against President Biden
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives convened its inaugural hearing on Thursday as part of its impeachment inquiry into Democratic
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives convened its inaugural hearing on Thursday as part of its impeachment inquiry into Democratic President Joe Biden. This proceeding comes with less than three days left before a partial government shutdown looms should congressional action not be taken.
The hearing is not anticipated to uncover fresh revelations regarding Biden’s financial connections to his embattled son, Hunter Biden, aged 53, who engaged in various international business endeavors while grappling with substance addiction issues.
As the hearing commenced, Republican leaders spearheading the inquiry alleged that Joe Biden had misled the public about his family’s international business ventures and had not taken measures to isolate them from his official duties during his tenure as vice president from 2009 to 2017.
James Comer, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, asserted, “The door was wide open to those who purchased what a business associate described as the Biden brand.”
Despite months of preliminary investigations and the production of thousands of pages of financial records, Republicans have yet to unearth substantial evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.
Jamie Raskin, the panel’s senior Democrat, remarked, “If Republicans had a smoking gun or even a dripping water pistol, they would be presenting it today. But they’ve got nothing.”
The roster of witnesses scheduled to testify includes a forensic accountant, a former U.S. Justice Department official, and two law professors.
Republicans contend that Biden and his family personally benefited from policies he pursued during his vice-presidential tenure in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. They have also accused the Justice Department of interfering in a tax investigation of Hunter Biden.
The White House dismisses these allegations as baseless and politically motivated, especially given the looming 2024 presidential election, in which Biden is likely to face off against Republican Donald Trump, who is currently facing four pending criminal trials.
The outcome of the inquiry remains uncertain. Although House Republicans hold a slim 221-212 majority, they would unlikely secure enough votes to support an actual impeachment. Furthermore, even if the vote succeeded, it is highly improbable that the Senate, where Democrats maintain a 51-49 majority, would vote to remove Biden from office.
The core of the investigation revolves around allegations that Biden, during his vice presidency, pressured Ukraine to dismiss a top prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, a company for which Hunter Biden served on the board of directors. Several U.S. and foreign officials contend that Biden was carrying out official anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.
House Republicans intend to request personal and business bank records for Hunter Biden and James Biden, the President’s brother. Earlier this week, the House Oversight Committee revealed bank wires from Chinese nationals directed to Hunter Biden, listing Joe Biden’s Delaware home address as the beneficiary, predating his presidency. It remains unclear whether Biden received the funds.
These proceedings unfold amid a government funding standoff between House Republicans and Biden’s fellow Democrats for the fiscal year starting October 1. A prolonged government shutdown could impede the impeachment inquiry as fewer administration officials would be available to respond to information requests.
Former President Trump has expressed support for the impeachment inquiry, himself facing four criminal indictments, notably the first for allegedly pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden ahead of the 2020 election. Trump was acquitted by the Senate on both impeachment charges during his presidency.