By: Suraj Shah Edited By: Shane Masterson October 30, 2023
Before his recent ousting after a vote by the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy began an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, directing three House committees to begin and initiate a thorough investigation of President Biden’s conduct. McCarthy claimed that the president and his family are engaged in a “culture of corruption, and several more right-wing Republicans have signed their want to see President Biden impeached or at least investigated.
Democrats and other political opponents of the GOP remain skeptical of the investigation and believe that pursuing it is extremist and unwarranted. Nonetheless, congressional Republicans defend the investigation they have launched because they believe that to not pursue this investigation would be a double standard. Throughout President Donald Trump’s presidency, Democrats focused on impeaching him – and succeeded twice. Republicans claim that trying to impeach President Joe Biden is not partisan but, rather, putting American interests first. They assert that the American public deserves answers to the allegedly suspicious conduct of the current president.
It is important to note that this is simply the first step in the impeachment process. The investigation is an impeachment inquiry. If it is found that President Biden has committed crimes or has engaged in problematic or wrongful conduct, then he may be impeached. Usually, the House Judiciary Committee completes an impeachment inquiry. They may host public hearings or facilitate subpoenas for information regarding potential criminal conduct. After the process of the inquiry is completed, House members debate the articles of impeachment (which are prepared and approved by a majority of the House Judiciary Committee), and the Senate hosts a trial regarding the articles of impeachment. These articles require a majority vote of the Senators for each article.
The impeachment inquiry is fueled by Republican concern about the Biden family’s business dealings. President Biden has been accused of illegally accepting money from the foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden, his son, while he was vice president for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.
McCarthy stated that “these are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption and warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives.”
On the other hand, House Democratic Leader, Hakeem Jeffries, has called the investigation an “illegitimate impeachment inquiry” and stated that Democrats will and must stand by President Biden “until the very end.” Democrats and much of the media have repeatedly asserted that there is no evidence at all of wrongdoing on Biden’s part. Republicans believe that this opinion dismisses real concern over evidence that may be accurate and provide proof of misconduct.
Speaker McCarthy has declared that Republicans “will go wherever the evidence takes [them].” There are several pieces of evidence that Republicans are relying on to build this impeachment case. First, two separate business partners of Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and Tony Bobulinski, have testified that Joe Biden would attend meetings or call in to meetings related to Hunter Biden’s business deals. Second, there are direct texts from Hunter Biden to his daughter, including one that states “I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family Fro (sic) 30 years. It's really hard. But don't worry unlike Pop I won't make you give me half your salary." These texts may suggest that Joe Biden shared the money Hunter Biden earned, contradicting the claim made by Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s attorney, that his client "did not share money" from his business dealings with his father.
Another piece of evidence Republicans are using is the alleged WhatsApp messages Hunter Biden sent to a Chinese businessman (obtained by an IRS whistleblower) in order to secure a deal with an energy company. One of these messages reads, “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.” Lowell has asserted that these WhatsApp messages are fabricated.
Overall, a clash of worldviews is present regarding this impeachment inquiry. Democrats have been quick to defend President Biden, whereas Republicans have provided alleged pieces of evidence that may convey his supposed corruption. It will be up to the voters and to the American public to do their own research on whether the claims and evidence are accurate or fabricated. Individuals must focus on keeping elected officials accountable while also supporting the judicial standard of innocent until proven guilty.