House Republicans held the first hearing of their impeachment inquiry into President Biden in an attempt to justify their case to the public. The Republicans, who chair the House Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means Committees, released a 30-page memo outlining their view of the factual and legal basis for the inquiry. They are investigating whether President Biden abused his federal office to enrich his family and conceal misconduct. During the hearing, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith claimed that the Biden family sold access to power and that the Biden Justice Department protected the Biden brand. However, witnesses for the majority, including law professor Jonathan Turley, argued that Republicans currently do not have enough evidence for articles of impeachment.
The White House criticized House Republicans for launching the impeachment inquiry just days before a potential government shutdown, urging them to focus on passing measures to fund the government instead. Democrats on the committee set up a countdown clock to highlight the impending shutdown, emphasizing the potential negative consequences such as lost jobs, delayed pay for service members, and reduced assistance programs. However, some Democrats, including Rep. Jamie Raskin, suggested that Republicans had ulterior motives for the hearing. Raskin pointed to a social media post by former President Trump, in which he encouraged Republicans to shut down the government to “defund these political prosecutions against me and other patriots.” Raskin argued that Republicans were conducting the hearing as part of a larger attempt to protect Trump from criminal prosecutions.
The impeachment inquiry into President Biden has been ongoing for months, led by GOP-led House committees. However, no evidence has been produced thus far to support allegations of law-breaking, financial benefit, or abuse of office by the president or his son. The Constitution allows for impeachment on grounds of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The House has not yet voted to launch a full impeachment inquiry into President Biden, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy directed committees to begin the process due to pressure from conservative members. The White House issued a memo aiming to debunk Republicans’ claims, while the president’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, has maintained that there is no evidence connecting President Biden to his son’s business affairs.