Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will endorse an impeachment inquiry into President Biden this week, a source familiar confirmed to The Hill, setting the scene for a formal vote in the chamber — even though it remains unclear that there is enough support to launch a formal investigation.
McCarthy intends to tell Republican lawmakers that House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have found enough information to back up the need for a formal impeachment inquiry, the source said.
He will also argue that the launching for a formal inquiry will aid in their effort to try to obtain bank records and documents related to the Biden family.
McCarthy plans to call an impeachment inquiry the “logical next step” in the GOP-led investigations, the source said.
The House GOP conference is set to meet behind closed doors twice this week, Wednesday and Thursday. During Thursday’s meeting, Comer and Jordan are scheduled to speak about their investigations. It is unclear during which meeting McCarthy will throw his support behind an inquiry, the source noted.
Punchbowl News first reported on McCarthy’s plans.
McCarthy’s intention to formally back an impeachment inquiry comes after weeks of signaling that the House could go down that path come the fall.
Last month, McCarthy said the House could launch an impeachment inquiry into Biden as soon as the House reconvenes following August recess, and he later called such a move a “natural step forward.”
But the question has divided the Republican conference in the lower chamber, with conservatives ready to take the plunge and some moderates wary of going down that path.
McCarthy earlier this month said he will only open an impeachment inquiry into Biden if the House formally votes to, though it remains unclear if he has enough support to do so.
With Democrats sure to oppose the effort to launch a Biden impeachment inquiry, McCarthy can only afford to lose a handful of Republican votes in the slim GOP majority.
Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), who hail from districts Biden won in 2020, recently said they are not ready to launch an impeachment inquiry. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said this weekend that “there is not a strong enough connection” between evidence committees have uncovered on Hunter Biden and the president.
Bacon Tuesday morning said he is still not ready to launch an impeachment inquiry.
“As of now I don’t support [an impeachment inquiry],” The Nebraska Republican said.
“I think an inquiry should be based on evidence of a crime that points directly to President Biden, or if the President doesn’t cooperate by not providing documents,” he added. “There’s clearly corruption with Hunter using his dad’s name to earn tens of millions of dollars. But impeachment needs to be about the dad, not the son. Many of us don’t want to see impeachment become something that is commonly used against every president.”
And Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), the chairman of the influential Main Street Caucus, told CNN “I have not seen that evidence” to launch an inquiry.
Conservatives, for their part, lauded the news of McCarthy’s plan to endorse an impeachment inquiry.
“It’s the right thing to do and our country deserves the House of Representatives to fully investigate Joe Biden and uncover the entire network who colluded to cover up his crimes from the American people,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has pushed for a formal impeachment inquiry, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The congresswoman said she would not vote to fund the government unless the House opened an impeachment inquiry into Biden.
The movement toward a formal investigation comes as Congress is racing the clock to fund the government before Sept. 30 or risk a shutdown.
The White House, which has vehemently pushed back on GOP efforts to launch an impeachment inquiry, said moving to a formal investigation is “red meat” for the Republican base.
“Opening impeachment despite zero evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS is simply red meat for the extreme rightwing so they can keep baselessly attacking him,” Ian Sams, White House spokesman for oversight and investigations, wrote on X.
“The House GOP investigations have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS. In fact, their own witnesses have testified to that, and their own documents have showed no link to POTUS,” he wrote in a separate tweet.
The GOP-led House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees have for months been investigating the Biden family’s business dealings from when Joe Biden was vice president.
The panels have presented various information throughout this Congress, including bank transactions, testimony from whistleblowers who say the Department of Justice slow-walked the tax crimes investigation into Hunter Biden, and testimony from former Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer, who said Hunter put his father on speakerphone during meetings with foreign business associates. Those conversations, Archer said, were limited to pleasantries.
None of the evidence has shown that Biden directly benefited financially from his family’s business activities. A recent Oversight GOP staff memo, however, argued that lawmakers do not have to show direct payments to the president to demonstrate corruption.
Updated at 9:41 a.m. ET
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