An impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden will officially move forward after the full House authorized the resolution on Wednesday.
The final vote came in at 221-212, with every Republican supporting the impeachment process. Now, the investigation into whether Biden should be officially charged with articles of impeachment will begin.
Impeachment is reserved for a president who has, according to the Constitution, committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” An official impeachment of a president does not remove him from office, though, as former President Donald Trump found out twice.
In order for a president to be removed from office, the Senate must convict him by a two-thirds vote, after the House approves an impeachment.
To this point, Biden hasn’t commented much on the potential of being impeached – or having an impeachment inquiry launched. However, he did make comments about it this week, saying that House Republicans have their priorities out of whack by pursuing this inquiry against him and his family.
After the vote was taken, Biden said of House Republicans:
“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 impeachment investigation is now likely to drag into 2024 quite considerably. As such, it will constantly be in the background as Biden campaigns for another four years in the White House against Trump.
All along, Trump has pushed hard for Biden to be impeached. The former president has said over and over again that his own two impeachments were politically motivated and had no basis in fact – basically the same thing Biden is saying about his potential impeachment.
A probe into the foreign business dealings of Biden and some of his family members has been dragging on for the better part of a year now. The resolution authorizing the official impeachment inquiry is the culmination of that probe.
To this point, the House panels that have taken up the probe haven’t been able to produce any solid evidence linking Biden to any corrupt actions such as accepting bribes to help his son, Hunter Biden, with business dealings in Ukraine.
However, now that the impeachment investigation has been formalized, it’s quite possible that new evidence will be uncovered. The panel charged with leading the investigation will have subpoena powers to compel testimony and/or evidence, if they need it.
In a joint statement that was released after the House vote was taken, GOP leadership in the House, led by Speaker Mike Johnson, said:
“We do not take this responsibility lightly and will not prejudge the investigation’s outcome. But, the evidentiary record is impossible to ignore.”
Some Republicans in the House who are facing challenging re-elections in 2024 have been hesitant to comment much on a potential Biden impeachment. Yet, they were won over to approve the impeachment resolution because it just authorizes an investigation.