US House votes to open Biden impeachment enquiry

The move is backed by Republicans, who make up the majority of the House of Representatives. US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has said he is being attacked "with lies"

Joe Biden called the impeachment inquiry a "baseless political stunt" (photo: DW)
Joe Biden called the impeachment inquiry a "baseless political stunt" (photo: DW)
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DW

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday, 13 December has formally authorised the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden. 

The resolution was approved by a vote of 221 to 212. Republicans voted unanimously to formalize the ongoing investigation. Democrats voted against.

Republicans accuse Biden of being involved in controversial foreign business dealings of his son, Hunter. The president has denied the allegations.

Former Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy had already ordered a "formal impeachment inquiry" against Biden on 12 September. The White House has rejected the investigation as unfounded and politically motivated.

Biden calls vote 'baseless political stunt'

Reacting to the vote, Biden said that Republicans in the House were focused on attacking him "with lies." In a statement released by the White House, Biden called the inquiry a "baseless political stunt."

So far, the investigation has found no evidence that Biden acted corruptly or took bribes in his current role or in his previous office as vice president, but Republicans are eager to continue it.

"We do not take this responsibility lightly and will not prejudge the investigation's outcome," Republican Speaker Mike Johnson and his leadership team said in a joint statement after the vote. "But the evidentiary record is impossible to ignore."

Meanwhile, House Democrats on Wednesday stood united in opposition to the resolution, calling it a farce perpetrated by those across the aisle to avenge the two impeachments against former President Donald Trump.

"This whole thing is an extreme political stunt. It has no credibility, no legitimacy, and no integrity. It is a sideshow," Democrat Jim McGovern said during a floor debate.

Is impeachment possible?

The Republican effort will almost certainly fail to remove Biden from office. Even if the House votes to impeach the president, the Senate would have to convict him on the charges by a two-thirds vote.

That's a near impossibility in a chamber where Biden's fellow Democrats hold a 51-49 majority. The inquiry could, however, help the Republicans to highlight their allegations of corruption for much of the presidential campaign in 2024.

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Published: 14 Dec 2023, 9:20 AM
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