House Republicans voted to formally approve an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, a move that drew a furious reaction from Democrats who have undergone a remarkable shift in attitude now that the shoe is on the other foot.
In a 221 to 212 vote along party lines, GOP lawmakers took the next step in getting to the bottom of corruption and influence-peddling questions about the president, his son Hunter Biden, and members of the Biden family with the formal inquiry allowing for Congressional subpoenas for bank records, financial details, texts, emails, and cellphones as well as anything else that may be of interest.
A vital constitutional tool to hold officials accountable for treason, bribery, and other “high crimes and misdemeanors,” impeachments have been rare in the nation’s history until former Speaker Nancy Pelosi pulled the trigger not once, but twice against former President Donald J. Trump.
“Today, the House is voting to formally open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. The facts don’t lie,” wrote current Speaker Mike Johnson on X, previously known as Twitter. “It’s time to get the American people answers.”
Today, the House is voting to formally open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
The facts don’t lie.
It’s time to get the American people answers. pic.twitter.com/O0Jtxx9J2u
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) December 13, 2023
“We are now at a pivotal moment in our investigation. We will soon depose and interview several members of the Biden family and their associates about these influence-peddling schemes. But we are facing obstruction from the White House,” said House oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) on the House floor before the vote.
“The White House is seeking to block key testimony from current and former White House staff. It is also withholding thousands of records from Joe Biden’s time as Vice President. President Biden must be held accountable for his lies, corruption, and obstruction. We have a duty to provide the accountability and transparency that Americans demand and deserve,” Comer added.
In a statement on the impeachment inquiry, Biden defended himself while assailing Republicans, also whining about their unwillingness to give tens of billions more to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“On Tuesday, I met with the President of Ukraine, who is leading his people in a battle for freedom against Russian aggression. He came to America to ask us for help. Yet Republicans in Congress won’t act to help,” Biden said.
“I wake up every day focused on the issues facing the American people – real issues that impact their lives, and the strength and security of our country and the world. Unfortunately, House Republicans are not joining me. Instead of doing anything to help make Americans’ lives better, they are focused on attacking me with lies. Instead of doing their job on the urgent work that needs to be done, they are choosing to waste time on this baseless political stunt that even Republicans in Congress admit is not supported by facts,” the president’s statement read.
Democrats railed against the impeachment, sticking to their talking point about Republicans having “nothing” and there being “no evidence” in an example of how the party and its operatives rebut challenges to their agenda by staying on script and keeping the messaging simple.
“They have no evidence,” insisted Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) who is the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler says there is “no evidence” for an impeachment inquiry — ignoring the bank records, emails, calls, photos, texts, visitor logs, and sworn witness testimony alleging influence peddling and corruption. pic.twitter.com/jfrIZyWJCo
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 13, 2023
“House Republicans are pushing a sham impeachment to distract from their failure to meet the kitchen table needs of the people and from their harrowing assaults on women’s reproductive freedoms,” said Speaker Emerita Pelosi on X. Democrats will not lose focus — we will keep working to deliver jobs and justice.”
House Republicans are pushing a sham impeachment to distract from their failure to meet the kitchen table needs of the people and from their harrowing assaults on women’s reproductive freedoms.
Democrats will not lose focus — we will keep working to deliver jobs and justice. -NP
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) December 13, 2023
“MAGA Republicans are trying to dilute the stain of Trump’s two legitimate impeachments with an illegitimate impeachment of Joe Biden,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) who was a key figure in the impeachment of Trump. “These are not serious people — and this is not a serious inquiry.”
MAGA Republicans are trying to dilute the stain of Trump’s two legitimate impeachments with an illegitimate impeachment of Joe Biden.
These are not serious people — and this is not a serious inquiry. pic.twitter.com/jj4M6B5pqf
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) December 14, 2023
Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), a yappy activist who just may be the dumbest member of Congress accused Republicans of being domestic enemies.
UNHINGED: Democrat Rep. Jasmine Crockett says Republicans are “domestic enemies” pic.twitter.com/31YPSJhIvw
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 13, 2023
As the impeachment moves into the next phase, lawmakers will now be able to overcome White House stonewalling by obtaining documents and holding public hearings with the House Judiciary Committee preparing the articles of impeachment if it is determined that sufficient evidence exists to do so.
If a majority of the GOP-controlled Judiciary Committee votes to adopt the articles of impeachment, they are then sent to the House floor for debate with a simple majority vote to decide if the president is impeached.
The process would then go to the Senate for a trial with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding. A two-thirds supermajority vote is required to remove the president from office which is highly unlikely regardless of how much evidence there is due to Democrats being in lockstep and it being an election year.
“Today, the House took a critical step in our investigation into serious matters involving President Joe Biden by formally opening an impeachment inquiry. As President Biden continues to stonewall lawful Congressional subpoenas, today’s vote of the full House of Representatives authorizing the inquiry puts us in the strongest position to enforce these subpoenas in court,” Speaker Johnson said in a statement.
We do not take this responsibility lightly and will not prejudge the investigation’s outcome. But the evidentiary record is impossible to ignore,” he added. “We have seen witness testimony and bank records showing millions of dollars flowing to the Biden family from foreign adversaries. Witnesses have testified about the President’s numerous interactions with his family’s foreign clients. The President and White House have repeatedly misled the public, shifted the goalposts, and stonewalled our investigation.”
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